Pigmentation comes in many forms. Ageing, sun damage and genetics can leave behind patches of irregularly-coloured skin that, although harmless, are a cosmetic concern for patients who feel they are unsightly. Effective treatment for these issues begins with a visit to a dermatologist who can identify the type of pigmentation you have and evaluate your skin, then recommend an appropriate treatment option based on these factors. At Northside Dermatology, we have seen excellent results using Cutera’s Excel V system to treat benign pigmented lesions.

What Is a Laser for Pigment?

The award-winning Excel V laser incorporates two proven wavelengths, 532 nm and 1064 nm, that allow the system to be calibrated to improve a broad range of vascular conditions, pigmentation issues and general skin rejuvenation concerns. The 532 nm wavelength’s high absorption by melanin makes it an ideal choice for the treatment of benign pigmented lesions. This is the same laser system that we use to treat redness and vascular lesions using different settings.

How Does the Laser for Pigment Work?

The laser works by target melanin, the naturally-occurring pigment that gives the skin and hair their colour. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes. Skin pigmentation conditions occur when melanin is under-produced or over-produced, causing areas of the skin to appear lighter or darker than the surrounding areas. Melanin readily absorbs specific energy wavelengths. By setting the Excel V laser to the correct wavelength, our dermatologists can selectively target and destroy lesions that result from increased melanin production.

What Does the Laser for Pigment Treat?

The Excel V laser can improve several types of benign pigmented lesions, including:

  • Freckles
  • Solar lentigines
  • Flat seborrheic keratosis
  • Dermatosis papulosa nigra

What Is Involved Before I Am Treated With the Laser for Pigment?

Safety is a priority at Northside Dermatology. It is essential that you undergo a comprehensive skin examination before commencing laser treatment for sun freckles to ensure that the patch of pigmentation you are concerned about is not a melanoma or a nonmelanoma skin cancer. If a treated lesion reoccurs, you will need to be assessed by our dermatologist to ensure it is still benign. A skin biopsy may be required to establish a histological diagnosis and exclude more dangerous changes.

How Should I Prepare My Skin Before Treatment?

Before a laser for pigment treatment, please:

  • Avoid sun tanning and self-tanning products for four weeks
  • Do not have any treatments, such as waxing, that could irritate your skin for one to two weeks
  • Cease use of skincare products with active ingredients such as vitamin A and AHA for two days
  • Notify your treating clinician if you have a history of cold sores, as you may require an anti-viral prescription before treatment
  • For patients with darker skin, a pigment-lightening cream may be used before and after laser treatment to minimise the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

We recommend seeing our dermal clinicians to learn how you can optimise your skin care prior to having laser treatment to ensure optimal, longer-lasting results.

What Can I Expect During Treatment With the Laser for Pigment?

You will put on protective eyewear and your clinician will apply a gliding gel to the treatment area to maximise the contact between the laser plate and your skin. No topical or local anaesthesia is required during the procedure. Your clinician will pass the handpiece over the affected areas in sections until the treatment is complete.

Is the Treatment Painful?

Treatment with the Excel V involves minimal discomfort. The system features a cooling mechanism that is used to soothe and protect your skin during treatment.

Is There Any Downtime?

There will be an initial period of redness, swelling and darkening of the pigmented lesion, but for a majority of patients it does not interfere with their comfort resuming daily activities. Post-treatment changes can be camouflaged with makeup if desired.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Your clinician will explain the side effects and potential complications associated with the laser for pigment, as well as ways to minimise them, before your treatment begins. These include:

  • Redness, swelling and transient darkening of the treated area: these are the most common side effects and generally resolve within three to seven days
  • Pigmentary changes: the risk of pigmentary complications is minimised with the use of pigment-inhibiting cream before and after laser treatment

How Should I Care for My Skin After Treatment?

After treatment with the laser for pigment, we advise you to:

  • Avoid sun exposure and apply a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) sunscreen to prevent further sun damage
  • Avoid products containing irritants (e.g. vitamin A, benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid) for one week after treatment

How Much Does Treatment With the Laser for Pigment Cost?

The cost depends on the size of the area being treated. Please see our price guide for more information and contact our office on 03 8582 8688 to schedule a consultation.

Contact Us

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm

Phone Number

03 8582 8688

Fax Number

03 8582 8788

Fitzroy North

379 St Georges Rd
Fitzroy North 3068

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Reservoir

2A Marchant Avenue
Reservoir, Melbourne

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