Skin discoloration can now be tackled faster and with few side effects

lifestyle June 14, 2018 01:00

Special to The Nation

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The accumulation of melanin granฌules under the skin, pigmentation appears as dark spots or patches on the face, especially the cheeks.

The variation of dark patches and other skin discoloration depends on the concentration, density and depth of melanin at different skin layers. Pigment or melanin concentration in the inner layer of the skin can be stubborn and difficult to treat. That is why lasers have become the gold standard treatment for dermal melasma and Hori’s nevus.

The laser beam targets the accuฌmulated melanin in the inner skin layer. The melanin absorbs the laser light energy and is broken up into small fragments, which are then removed by the body, rendering them less visible. The treated areas on the face appear brighter and more evenly toned.

Pigmentation treatment with lasers often gives promising results and substantial pigment clearing is noted. Yet darker Asian skin types are quite challenging to treat because they are more prone to complicaฌtions such as post–inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH. 

However, the newest lasers delivฌer energy rapidly with an ultra short pulse of a trillionth of a second or a picosecond pulse. In effect, a laser is a whole lot of light energy packed into a short duration of pulses. 

The novel picosecond laser, then, can generate light energy to shatter pigments under the skin with an extremely short pulse duration, resulting in no heat effect or thermal damage to the surrounding tissue. This lowers the risk of posttreatฌment side effects such as PIH. Moreover the speed of the picosecฌond laser shatters the melanin into very tiny particles, which enables the body to remove them faster and more easily. 

Troublesome pigmented lesions can now be lightened and fade more effectively, with no or very little downtime and less painfully, and in fewer sessions. Many dermatologists consider the picosecond laser the most advanced laser treatment for a brighter complexion. 

THANISORN THAMLIKITKUL MD is a member of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery and certified in dermatologiฌcal laser surgery. Send your questions for her to