Pigmentation is a trait characterised by discolouration in the skin. It can appear in the form of freckles, beauty marks, hyper pigmentation and even melasma. At Cosmos Clinic, we can be treat these skin concerns effectively using the latest laser technology and laser treatment.
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The laser treatment used is called a Broad Band Light (BBL). It’s delivers significant improvements to the appearance of pigmentation on the skin with minimal discomfort.
This minimally invasive and gentle procedure can be performed during a lunchtime break with virtually no down-time. Pigment will darken over the first week before flaking off. You should avoid the sun post treatment.
Results will be visible once the flaking of the pigment has occured. This usually occurs 5 – 7 days post-treatment for the face, and up to 14 days for the body. For optimal results, 3 treatments are usually advised, roughly 4 – 6 weeks apart with yearly “maintenance” treatments.
*Results may vary from patient to patient.
**All photos are of patients from Cosmos Clinic, and all ‘after’ images are taken 6 weeks post operation.
Your eyes will be protected with safety shields or glasses. You may briefly feel a warming of the skin, or a rubber like band snap sensation, as the light is absorbed by the targeted areas. The light energy from the Sciton BBL directly heats the “broken capillary” and superficial “brown spots” – resulting in a marked improvement in the skin complexion and colouring. Your procedure may take a few minutes to half an hour depending on the size of the area to be treated, as well as the type and depth of the procedure performed. Your medical professional and/or laser technician will discuss all the options with you. This minimally invasive and gentle procedure can be performed during a lunchtime break with virtually no down-time.
There is minimal or no discomfort. You may feel a warming of the skin, or a rubber band like snap sensation, as the procedure is performed. This varies from patient to patient and depends on the depth of the treatment. There is no need for any topical anesthesia, however, patients may choose to use it on more sensitive areas.
Typically, you may experience some redness that will resolve within 6 – 24 hours. For some pigmented lesions, you will see a darkening of the treated areas followed by fading and flaking off at a later stage.
BBL Laser can be used to treat the following concerns:
Please note, this treatment may only be a temporary solution for hormonal pigmentation which occurs as a result of hormonal changes in the body. Any area of your body can be treated. The most common areas include the face, neck, chest, hands, shoulders and back. These areas are typically the most exposed to the damaging effects of the sun.
Pigmentation treatment prices vary depending on your overall situation and expectations.
Your initial Pigmentation consultation and subsequent procedure can be undertaken at one of our cosmetic clinics in Australia. Our practices are in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and the Gold Coast.
Topical Vitamin A creams (such as Zorac) will stimulate cell turnover and reduce existing pigmentation. Using an effective sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection will help prevent further sun damage and subsequent pigmentation from reoccurring. Hydroquinone (HQ) is the most commonly used prescription medication. It is a strong inhibitor of melanin production but its effects are slow and can take months. Evidence of improvement with HQ is usually observed at 4-6 weeks, with improvement appearing to plateau at approximately 4 months. Efficacy is directly linked to concentration, but the incidence of adverse effects also increases with concentration. Retinoids (Stieva A) improve the effectiveness of HQ. At Cosmos Clinic, we commonly prescribe Stieva A with 4% hydroquinone for melasma and Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIHP). The patient is advised to use HQ and Stieva A for 4-6 months to ‘turbo start’ the treatment before moving the patient onto over the counter preparations like Kojic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, AHAs, Vitamin A, Arbutin, Mulberry, and Licorice. Azelaic acid, available as a 20% cream-based formulation called Finacea, appears to be as effective as 4% HQ and superior to 2% HQ in the treatment of melasma. The mechanism of action is not fully understood. Unlike HQ, Azelaic Acid seems to target only hyperactive melanocytes and thus will not lighten skin with normally functioning melanocytes. The primary side effect is skin irritation, which is higher than that experienced with HQ. Regardless, Azelaic Acid is definitely a consideration for skin lightening if you have had problems using hydroquinone. Other de-pigmenting agents that have been studied in the treatment of melasma are Kojic Acid, Ascorbic Acid/Vitamin C, 4-N-butylresorcinol, Phenolic-thioether, 4-isopropylcatechol.
Regardless of the treatments used, all will fail if sunlight is not strictly avoided. Prudent measures to avoid sun exposure include hats and other forms of shade combined with the application of a broad spectrum sunscreen with UV A and UV B protection is essential. Seek shade between 10am and 4pm, when the sun’s rays are most intense. Sun protection should begin in childhood because it is estimated that 80 percent of lifetime sun exposure occurs before age 18. Wear light-coloured, tightly woven, protective clothing and wide-brimmed (three-inch) hats. Cessation of the pill is also factor that can cause melasma.
Skin pigmentation is the uneven colouring of the skin caused by the pigment, melanin. The main causes of pigmentation include UV exposure (resulting in sun damage) and hormones. These triggers increase the production of melanin within the body, which is what gives the skin its skin tone.
Broad Band Light (BBL) delivers significant improvements to the appearance of pigmentation on the skin. The BBL laser technology utilises the power of pulsed light (as known as IPL or Intense Pulsed Light) to treat sun and age spots, and other pigmented skin blemishes. This laser pigmentation removal can minimse the appearance of spots to ultimately improve the skin’s appearance. The laser light energy delivered by Sciton’s Broad Band Light (BBL) gently heats up the upper layers of your skin. The heat absorbed by the targeted areas will stimulate the skin cells, and this will restore your skin to its natural beauty. Therefore, making it smoother and more vibrant. Read more about lasers here.
Risk of complications is rare when performed by an experienced medical professional who has extensive experience in the use of Lasers. It is important to follow post care instructions which are aimed at minimising your risk of inflammation or redness and ensure the shortest healing time. You will be sensitive to ultra-violet light and you must avoid direct sun exposure until fully healed. Fully cover your skin or use a good sunscreen whenever you go outdoors. You may be given some skin care products and instructions on how to use them.
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