I Went For A Laser To Erase Pigmentation

Those who suffer from large pores know that many products that claim to shrink pores generally do not live up to the hype. Apparently, there is a laser treatment you can do to make your pores smaller and results are seen as early as the first session. Pico Toning uses ultra-short pulses of light to “tone” and rejuvenate the skin. In case you were wondering what “toning” of the skin means, it is exactly what your after-cleanser toner does – freshens the skin and shrinks the pores. Lasers which tone the skin do the same but even better – with light energy. This achieves an exfoliation and collagen stimulation effect.

Traditional laser toning treatments use older nanosecond lasers, whereas Pico Toning uses the latest picosecond lasers. In case you were wondering, one picosecond is one trillionth of a second, or 1/1000 of a nanosecond! Ultra-fast pulsing has many obvious benefits – firstly, less heat is generated (this also means less discomfort!) and the picosecond shatters pigments beneath the skin at higher tensile strength – the pigment removal effect is more effective. No wonder picosecond lasers are so highly regarded for tattoo removal – not only is the treatment now more comfortable, you can remove more pigment in fewer sessions overall.


What is the best treatment for pigmentation on the face?

While lasers are effective for treatment of pigmentation, they are not free of side effects. One of the risks associated with laser therapy is post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), where the skin reacts to the trauma of heat by creating or releasing MORE pigment. This means that instead of lightening the pigmentation, it becomes darker.

In darker skin individuals, laser injuries can cause the reverse: skin can become permanently de-pigmented, known as hypopigmentation, because the skin cells responsible for creating pigment are destroyed.

Fact of the matter is, the biggest problem with today’s laser toning treatment is that it is overused. The nanosecond Q-switched Nd:Yag lasers is the workhorse of aesthetic lasers – clinics use it to market solutions for virtually all skin problems. Because it takes only less than 5 minutes to administer the treatment, is generally very bearable even without topical numbing, and leaves behind only a hint of redness which goes away on its own after 1-2 hours, it has found its way into the mass market, with some clinics offering it as frequently as once or even twice a day, as a “low-risk” treatment for conditions such as melasma or just general skin rejuvenation. Here’s where things can go awry. Repeating laser toning treatments at such short intervals has seen problems such as gutatte Hypopigmentation – a phenomenon where normal pigment of the skin is destroyed, leaving patches of white, de-pigmented skin in its place.


Why Pico Toning Is Better At Treating Hyperpigmentation

How does a laser beam remove pigmentation? When the laser beam is fired into the tattoo, the ink pigments are broken up into small fragments, like a mini explosion under the skin. These fragments are then removed gradually by one’s own body.

Pico Toning uses picosecond lasers, which can generate very high tensile stress to shatter pigments under the skin, at very low energy settings with very minimal heat. The ultra short pulses ensure that the treatment remains safe even for those with hyperpigmentation problems.


Pigment lasers or pigmentation treatment products?

So is there such a thing as the best treatment for hyperpigmentation on the face? According to Dr Toby Hui, Medical Aesthetics Consultant at the SW1 clinic, hyperpigmentation problems such as melasma can be difficult to treat and require a combination of treatments such as pigment lasers and chemical peels. Dermatologists will also prescribe hyperpigmentation treatment at home such as skin lightening hyperpigmentaton treatment products or pigmentation cream, either concurrently or after pigmentation has been successfully removed.


White Plasma is an oil-free, concentrated anti-pigment treatment. Hydroquinone-free, White Plasma lightens colour troubles with vitamin c and tyrosinase inhibitors.


Special Effects is a lightening cream that contains mequinol, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.


By Megan Thomas.

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