Most of us deal with discoloration of some sort. Whether it’s from acne scars, general skin discoloration, or something more severe like vitiligo, we all deal with unwanted pigmentation. The question is, is there anything we can do about it? There are actually several proven ways to get rid of unwanted pigmentation but none have been more effective than laser treatment. This modern approach has been the go-to treatment method for many cosmetic and medical conditions So let’s take a moment to talk about how you can achieve even and clear skin with laser treatment.
Laser treatment is a procedure that uses special equipment to emit laser light at a specific wavelength. This light is passed over the skin, causing a cellular reaction. Depending on the type of light that was used and the amount of exposure, the cellular reaction will produce varying results. Laser treatment has been used to treat acne, as a wrinkle and fine line reducer, mole removal, tattoo removal, treatment for skin conditions, and of course pigmentation correction.
To correct pigmentation, dermatologists use Intense Pulse Light or IPL. This laser emits light at multiple wavelengths in scattered beams. Similar to the flash of a camera, IPL flashes rapidly, delivering pulses of light into the dermis, the second layer of skin. The light passes straight through the epidermis (top layer of skin) which keeps it from being damaged. It is then absorbed by the cells responsible for pigmentation which is then converted to heat (also known as kinetic energy) and eventually ruptures the unwanted pigmentation cells allowing the skin to have a more even tone.
Laser treatment isn’t for everybody. There are various factors you should consider when deciding if laser treatment is right for you. First and foremost, you should understand that laser treatment is best suited to treat small areas and not conditions that are widespread. Individuals with skin conditions or infections or those who take medications that make you photosensitive should also avoid laser treatment. While healthy individuals are capable of receiving laser treatment, those with lighter skin and hair will have better results than those with a darker complexion.
While some people report feeling a stinging or slight burning sensation similar to the popping of a rubber band, laser treatment isn’t thought to be a painful procedure. If you’re sensitive to certain sensations, however, a dermatologist may apply a numbing cream before the procedure.
Over the next few days, you may experience redness or slight swelling. You’ll need multiple treatments to achieve even coloring. In between treatments, however, you will need to be diligent in wearing your sunscreen and avoiding direct sunlight as your skin will be sensitive and susceptible to sunburn. But with proper care, your skin will gradually return to its neutral color.