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Pigment Laser

There are many different kinds of skin pigmentation. Common pigmentary conditions include e.g. solar lentigenes, freckles, melasma, etc. For superficial epidermal pigment, pigment lasers (e.g. 532 laser or Ruvy-Touch laser) can be used to treat these conditions.

How is the procedure performed?

The pigment lesions are usually pre-treated with a depigmentation cream e.g. hydroquinone 4% cream applied twice a day for 3 to 4 weeks before laser is performed.

On the day of the laser treatment, the face will be cleansed and numbing cream will be applied. Oral analgesics can be prescribed, depending on the pain threshold of the patient. The 532 laser or Ruvy-Touch laser is applied to the pigment, which results in erythema and a mild frosting to appear. A mild topical steroid and sunscreen are applied thereafter. Over the course of 5 to 10 days, the treated area will scab over and fall off, lightening areas of pigmentation.

What is interval between treatments and how many treatments will I need to see results?

The interval between treatments is typically between 3 to 4 weeks. The number of treatments needed to see appreciable results will largely depend on the type of pigment being treated, e.g. freckles may clear after just a single treatment, solar lentigenes may need up to 2 to 3 treatments before significant lightening of pigment is observed.

Are there any side effects?

For asian skin, there is an increased risk of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) post-treatment with pigment laser. This is usually prevented by using the lowest possible settings and observing adequate treatment intervals. Topical steroids have also been observed to reduce the incidence of PIH.

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