Pigmented lesions are brown marks on the skin, e.g. age spots or liver spots on hands and face. Although they are not harmful, many people wish to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. Stratum Clinics offer simple and effective laser and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments to combat sun damage and get your confidence back.
Both laser and IPL treatments provide visible results after only one treatment. They offer an alternative to the other treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels.
Sun damage and pigmentation that can be treated include age spots, sun spots, liver spots, freckles and melasma.
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What does this treatment do?
Liver spots, age spots, benign lentigos and freckles can usually be treated and removed in just one laser session. If you opt for IPL treatment a course of treatment is the most effective method. The appropriate treatment for you will be assessed at the initial consultation to ensure you get the appropriate treatment for you. Treatments usually take between 15 and 30 minutes and can be described as feeling like a ‘warm elastic band snapping against the skin’.
There are many different types of laser and IPL systems available. The purpose is to reduce the appearance of some pigmented lesions and small thread veins on the face. The light from the laser penetrates the tissue and is absorbed by either the blood when treating vascular lesions or the melanin when treating pigmented lesions damaging them. The body’s natural processes then remove the injured tissue giving the skin a more even and youthful appearance.
Laser resurfacing for fine lines and acne scars however, involves a completely different laser which is used to smooth out the skin surface.
Frequently asked questions
A laser is a high energy beam of light that can precisely transfer this energy into certain tissues within the skin. These beams of light are produced in one wavelength at a time and can vary in terms of their strength and the type of tissue that they can target.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) systems differ from lasers in that they can deliver hundreds of wavelengths (or colours) in each burst of light. Certain filters are used to filter out the unwanted wavelengths, so that they work in a similar way to lasers causing heat damage to the particular skin problem.
The process of directing a laser or IPL source to a target area in the skin is technically known as “selective photothermolysis”.
The appropriate use of either lasers or IPL will be assessed at the consultation.
There are certain lesions that can be treated in just one session, and these include the commonly called liver or age spots, benign lentigo and freckles. However, for lesions with deeper lying pigment, multiple treatment sessions may be necessary e.g. pigmented birthmarks, such as café-au-lait spots.
Laser treatments are usually scheduled at 6-8 week intervals, but often just one session is sufficient, depending on your individual response. IPL treatments may be repeated every 3-4 weeks for a course of 4 sessions.
You may experience a warm, stinging sensation in the area treated during the procedure. It can be described as feeling like a ‘warm elastic band snapping against the skin’. The treatment usually takes between 15 to 30 minutes.
Immediately after treatment, the treated area becomes darker, crusts and peels off over for a period of one to two weeks, leaving a pinkish area of new skin lasting several more weeks. Significant fading can continue for up to 6 months after treatment in some cases.
We recommend daily use of a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30, as an effective way to protect the skin from future sun damage (photodamage).