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  • Writer's pictureDavid Reilly


Updated: Apr 30, 2019

Face with significant pigmentation spots

Pigmentation marks age spots, freckles, solar lentigines, or liver spots, which vary in appearance, and how responsive they are to treatment. There are various forms of treatments that can be used whether its one for home use, salon or medical type clinic. The size and depth of the pigmentation will determine the best method of removal, taking into consideration the cost to the client.

Traditionally treatments have revolved around fading creams such as retinol , chemical peels such as Glycolic and lactic acid. cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) , cauterisation (diathermy) , microdermabrasion and more recently microneeedling using a roller or pen. Some of these treatments can be used in conjunction with each other as an on-going treatment plan. The Dermapen works by piercing the layers of skin with fine needles with little or no down-time. It has been developed to use active key products such as Kojic acid, which help impregnate the skin with ingredients that not only help eliminate dark patches but also help rejuvenate the skin by boosting our natural collagen.

Treatment which are also on the forefront are high intensity light from lasers and IPL’s which have given very good results. The light given from both is able to target the pigment and destroy it with no other skin being affected. Between 80-100% of the pigmentation can be destroyed in one session. However consultation is important to determine which treatment an individual should have.


What laser should I have?

Both IPL and Nd:yag laser can be used. But what is the difference with both machines in treating these unsightly marks? Pigmentation marks which are light to medium in colour can be successfully treated with IPL. However it may take between 1-4 sessions. Pigmentation which tends to be of solar keratosis or hormonal may prove to be more stubborn to remove, therefore Nd:yag laser should be used. It is important to point out that these can be removed on 1 session or not entirely. In this case Fraxel laser can be used or a skin rejuvenation programme using a chemical peel; retinol as a deterrent for further pigmentation.

What to expect-

With both IPL and laser you may experience some slight redness. There is very little discomfort to the skin during the procedure and you will be given a patch test prior to the treatment. There is no requirement for anesthetic creams, however a cooling agent can be used afterwards. Treatment only takes a few minutes with little or no down-time.

The area will darken quite quickly then over 5-7 days the mark will start to fade and may develop a crust. The healing process should not be tampered with as the crust will naturally be rubbed away. Within 2 weeks the skin should look lighter or completely gone. SPF of 50 should be used whilst healing and can be changed to SPF 30 afterward….Yes even in Scotland. Remember those sun rays are there during daylight hours.


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