What's the best laser to remove pigmentation from sun exposure? (photo)Skin, Hair & Nails Aesthetic Medicine
What's the best laser to remove pigmentation from sun exposure? How much does it cost, and what's the down time?
I agree with the previous doctors that you have solar lentigines on your cheeks, otherwise known commonly as sun spots.
The best treatment option in my opinion would be with a long pulse microsecond pigment laser.
The commonly used shorter pulsed lasers such as the Q-switched or picosecond laser may be associated with a higher risk of post laser pigmentation in Asians, as it may inadvertently lead to collateral damage during the laser treatment, where the melanin that is normally in our skin is targeted by the laser as well.
When we use a longer pulse laser, it results in a gentler heating of the sun spot, and it is less likely that the surrounding melanin is disturbed.
At our clinic, we use the AlexTrivantage laser to treat these sun spots with good results after 1-3 treatments, with very low post laser pigmentation risk. As with all laser treatments, it is important that you avoid sun exposure before and after laser.
The cost of such treatments is usually $400-600 depending on the area we are treating.
Hope this helps!
Dr Stephanie Ho
Hi, thanks for the question. Solar lentigines are common in people who have had a lot of sun exposure. This type of pigmentation responds well to laser treatment.
The best treatment option is the pigment laser. There will be redness and scabbing after the laser and the downtime is about a week. Usually 1 to 3 treatments may be needed.
The estimate cost for the treatment will be about $400 to 600 but may vary according to the different clinics.
Thank you for your question and photo. As Dr Theng mentioned, solar lentigines are very common in people who had excessive sun exposure.
The pigment laser of choice is a Q-switched Picosecond Nd:Yag Laser.
- Discovery Pico Laser.
Most Picosecond lasers have these 2 key wavelengths: 532nm and 1064nm wavelengths which target superficial and deeper skin pigments respectively.
Q-switching refers to the technique of making the laser produce a high intensity beam in very short pulses. There are Nd:Yag laser platforms that emit beams in Picosecond or Nanosecond pulse durations. Picosecond laser pulses are close to 1000x shorter than Nanoscond Lasers.
This is important because a shorter pulse duration means that the skin heats up less which reduces the risk of Hyperpigmentation in addition to breaking down the pigmentation into smaller fragments, which are more easily removed by your body.
This translates to a better clinical result, requiring fewer treatment sessions (1-3 sessions) and increased safety.
Cost: approximately >$400/session
Downtime: 1-2 days of social downtime. Mild redness/peeling expected.
Please consult a doctor for more details.
Hope that this helps!
Dr Justin Boey
Pigmentations on the face are indeed often aggravated by excessive sun exposure.
Firstly, let an experienced doctor conduct a physical examination and diagnose what exactly are your pigmentations so that he or she can advise you on the most suitable treatment options for you.
One of the common pigmentations that is aggravated by excessive sun exposure is solar lentigo.
Solar lentigo can respond to topical lightening cream with sun protection measures, and lasers.
Topical lightening cream can work quite well on some patients, so you may not even need laser treatment.
If laser is required for solar lentigo, pigmentation lasers (eg Q-switched Nd Yag laser) is the laser of choice, in my opinion.
One thing to note is that different clinics will probably have pigmentation lasers of differing technologies and models.
In my own experience, pigmentation laser with the latest technology can certainly be very useful, but technology alone does not guarantee results.
I have come across very experienced doctors getting also really good results treating pigmentations with older laser models.
Thus the most important factor that determines good results from pigmentation laser is the clinical experience of the performing doctor.
If you happen to do pigmentation lasers for solar lentigo, the downtime involves redness for 1-2 days and dry scabbing for about 5-7 days, with about a couple of laser sessions.
Pigmentation laser costs can range from $300 to $400, and this can vary between different clinics.
For treatment options of common pigmentations like solar lentigo, you can read more about them in my "Ultimate Guide to Pigmentation Treatments in Singapore".
Hope this helps!
Dr David Ng C H