Also known as facial hyperpigmentation, brown spots can be the result of factors ranging from genetic heredity or hormones to sun exposure or prior injury (for example, curling iron burns leaving a brown spot). During your consultation at the Center for Aesthetics, we will evaluate your skin based on all of these potential factors and provide treatment options customized to your needs.
Regardless of what condition is being treated, topical therapy is absolutely required for long term success! The amount of pigmentation in your skin is subject to constant variation based on sun exposure, hormone activity, and other factors. While lasers are an excellent tool to provide immediate results for overly pigmented skin, they offer no control whatsoever of the repigmentation process, which begins the moment you step back out into the sun. As a result, topical treatment to prevent new pigment formation is essential.
When treating hyperpigmentation with laser therapy, we use the most gentle lasers possible that still produce results. One reason for this is that people with hyperpigmentation are also at a higher risk for a condition called Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH can result in a patient being left with a permanent brown mark after a curling iron burn, or after an acne pimple resolves. PIH can be caused by overly aggressive laser treatment or Intensified Photolight Therapy (IPL) on susceptible skin, and is very difficult to treat once it has occurred. In fact, at the Center for Aesthetics we no longer perform IPL or BBL (Broad Band Light) therapy specifically because we believe it ultimately exacerbates pigmentation in the skin in the long term.
Permea Laser therapy is a shallow fractional resurfacing laser treatment that targets hyperpigmentation specifically, yet gently. Treatments are comfortable and painless, with no downtime required. In addition, Permea treatments offer the extra benefit of making your topical therapy more effective for several days after treatment, as the skin is rendered more permeable.
Fraxel laser treatment also uses fractional resurfacing laser technology, but attacks hyperpigmentation on a deeper level. This type of laser treatment is a good choice for individuals with pigmentation problems who also suffer from other conditions such as aging skin, sun damage or wrinkles. To ensure lasting results, if a prospective client has any evidence of PIH or melasma we will not perform Fraxel treatment due to the increased depth of penetration and risk of PIH exacerbation. Fraxel laser treatment has some “soft downtime,” mainly consisting of facial swelling for the first few days after treatment, and potentially a chapped appearance of the skin for up to 2 weeks. Fraxel laser treatment is performed in our offices under topical anesthetic.