Is laser the only answer to pigmentation problems?
IT is common to equate pigment treatment to laser and vice versa. Some say that the laser is a wonder treatment for all pigmentation woes while others discourage and even curse the laser for worsening existing pigmentation.
While it is certainly not advisable to wait for a miraculous cure by itself, it is advisable to explore all possible options and know what is best for your condition.
What is laser?
for pigmentation, the most widely used laser is the Q-switch Nd:Yag laser.
A laser is a device that produces an intense beam of coherent light. It comes with many different wavelengths to target different molecules or tissues.
Besides treating or improving the skin, it is used in other surgeries for cutting purposes and is also used to rectify eye refractive errors.
There are many types of lasers in the market to cater for the different uses.
For pigmentation, the most widely used laser is the Q-switch Nd:Yag laser. Other effective lasers include CO2, erbium:yag, ruby, thullium, and alexandrite.
How does laser work against pigmentation?
Melanin is the pigment molecule that is responsible for pigmentation disorders.
Lasers work by delivering an intense beam of light that specifically targets melanin. This light is then absorbed and converted into heat, which either disperses the group of melanin cells or destroys the skin cells carrying the pigment molecule.
What are the side effects of pigment laser?
All treatment comes with a list of possible side effects. for pigment laser, there is a possibility that the patch undergoing treatment becomes darker (or even lighter) than the surrounding skin.
Adequate sun protection, including the frequent use of sunblock, reduces the probability of developing darker patches.
Fortunately, most of the time, when the skin becomes darker, it is often not permanent and tends to resolve in three to four months.
When the skin becomes lighter, it may be permanent for some patients. Occasionally, the skin may blister or turn crusty.
Are lasers always more effective than other treatments?
This depends on the cause of the pigmentation. Some conditions respond better with creams or chemical peels whilst others respond better with laser.
You have to juggle between the risks and benefits of each treatment.
Lightening cream also has its side-effects.
Conditions that respond better with lasers are freckles, hori