A number of pigment problems can be treated effectively by light and lasers. Examples include freckles, lentigenes, Hori's nevus (ABNOM), Nevus of Ota, moles, seborrhoeic keratosis and tattoos. Other conditions that are amendable with lasers include various vascular blemishes, sebaceous hyperplasia, syringoma and warts. Please discuss with your dermatologist for the laser treatment most suitable for your skin.
 
Epidermal pigments
   
  Lentigines / lentigo
  Lentigines (sun spots or liver spots) are small, flat, pigmented spots on the skin that are caused by long term sun exposure. The ultraviolet ray causes the melanocytes (pigment cells) to produce excess pigment. They usually begin to appear later in life in sun-exposed areas such as the face, neck and arms. The spots may increase in size over time. A single large spot is referred to as a lentigo.
   
  Freckles
  Freckles are commonly seen after sun exposure especially on fair skin persons. They are usually lighter and have less consistent color than lentigines.
   
Treatment
  Sun protection and avoidance is crucial in preventing new lentigines from appearing and prevent further darkening or growth of the existing spots.
   
  Bleaching agents, chemical peeling, light and laser therapy may all help to reduce or remove lentigines and freckles.
   
  Nd:YAG pigment laser is effective in the removal of superficial and deep skin pigments. One or two sessions are usually enough in treating small, flat lesions.
   
  Ellipse Flex IPL system is equipped with a spectrum of strong lights in the wavelength band ranging from 400nm to 950nm with dual mode filtering which ensures extra safety. Selecting the appropriate wavelength band and intensities, IPL therapy is useful for pigmentary disorders such as freckles and lentigo as well as rejuvenation purpose. Treatment is usually scheduled on a monthly basis, averaging 4 sessions; improvement is usually observed after the first session. It is ideal for those with active lifestyles, as it requires minimal downtime.
   
Dermal pigment
   
  Nevus of Ota
  Nevus of Ota presents as a blue or gray patch on the face (usually the upper half of the face). Most patients have unilateral involvement and may involve the eye and oral mucosal surfaces. It is due to increased melanocytes (pigment cells) in the dermal layer of the skin. It can be congenital or acquired and is more common in Asian population. Nd:YAG pigment laser is effective in treating this condition.
   
  Acquired bilateral nevus-of-Ota like macules (ABNOM)
  ABNOM or Hori's nevus is also characterized by excess dermal melanocytes. It usually appears later in life and present as blue-brown or slate gray patches over both face and does not affect the eyes. It can also be treated with the Nd:YAG pigment laser.
   
  Melasma
  Melasma is a skin condition in which excessive pigment causes symmetrical dark patches on the face. It can be categorized as "epidermal" (more superficial) or "dermal" (deep). Epidermal melasma responds better to treatment. Women are at greater risk of developing melasma when they are pregnant, taking birth control pills or hormone therapy. If your relatives had melasma, you are also at greater risk of developing melasma.
   
Treatment
  Sun avoidance and protection is the most important step in treating melasma and preventing its return. Sunlight is a powerful trigger of pigment formation in people susceptible to melasma. Measures to protect from the sun include : use physical shading such as umbrella and wide brimmed-hat to shade your face, avoid reflective surfaces and daily application of adequate sunscreen.
   
  Bleaching agents may be prescribed to lighten the melasma. If topical treatment fails, you may discuss the possibility of other treatment modalities such as chemical peels, light or lasers.
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
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