Here’s What You Need to Know About Laser Treatments for Dark Spots

by | Oct 28, 2018

If you have perfect skin, raise your hand! There’s a good probability that out of all the people reading this article, no one can raise their hand. Why? As cliche as it sounds, there’s no such thing as perfection, especially when it ones to the skin. Our skin can have a whole host of issues. The most common that people experience during their lifetime is acne, but this is followed by eczema, skin cancer, and dermatitis. All of these skin issues can cause dark spots or hyperpigmentation. While most people turn to topical creams and ointments to reverse this, in the end, others turn towards laser treatments. And we’re sure you have questions! Here’s what you need to know about laser treatments for dark spots.

Before we go into laser treatments, let’s first talk about how and why dark spots and hyperpigmentation happen! As we briefly touch upon before, hyperpigmentation is usually the result of something. If you have acne and it’s healing improperly, the result would normally be a dark spot. For those who spent too much time in the sun during their youth, they might find that they’re developing sun spots on their skin. Rashes and other skin conditions like eczema or dermatitis might irritate the skin enough to cause an area of hyperpigmentation, but why does this happen?

The skin is made up of melanocytes which control the pigmentation of your skin. EVERYONE has them, but your skin tone is decided by the numberof cells you have. People with fairer skin tones have fewer melanocytes than people with deeper skin tones. With that said, those with deeper skin tones have the chance for more dark spots due to having more melanocytes.

Before going the route of laser treatments, many people first head to the dermatologist for topical creams. There are products with tons of skin lightening products on the market, but they usually have a few key ingredients. Some of these are glycolic acid, niacinamide, and retinoids. While these are safer, one of the most effective creams is also the most dangerous. Hydroquinone is a chemical that while effective in lightening hyperpigmentation is also closelyregulated by licensed dermatologists because it can easily get out of hand. While topical creams are one option for patients, many turn to laser treatments. This might seem like an easy and quick way for getting rid of dark spots, but here’s what you really need to know!

What are your options? When it comes to laser treatments, there are two kinds you’ll typically be offered. The first is a skin resurfacing treatment. For this treatment, this is further separated into two options, ablative and non-ablative. Those with sensitive skin would probably go for the latter. Non-ablative skin resurfacing forces your skin to do the work. The lasers in the procedure are meant to help your skin produce more collagen which in turn will help with lightening those dark spots andhelp with making your skin more firm. The second type, ablative, is more invasive. Similar to a facial peel, this procedure actually removes layers of the skin thus lightening the marks and forcing new skin cells to grow in its place.

If you were to consult over laser treatments, you’d probably be met with the option of IPL more often. Also known as intense pulse light therapy, this is another non-invasive treatment that promotes collagen growth. Luckily with this treatment, while you’re hoping to lighten any dark marks or hyperpigmentation, you might also find that it helps with spider veins and wrinkles.

Now that you know what your options are when it comes to laser treatments, one question you might be wondering is how long?While it might seem disappointing, don’t walk into a laser treatment thinking you’ll walk out with completely clear skin. It doesn’t work that way! After one treatment, it’ll usually take a few days, sometimes weeks to notice a change in your skin. This is normal! You might also think that you can solve all your dark spot issues in one treatment. That’s not necessarily true! Depending on the depth of your spots, your dermatologist or specialist might find that you’ll need several treatments to completely lighten the marks.

What do you do now? If you’re dealing with dark spots, you’re probably wondering what you should do. First, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. It’s quite possible that laser treatments might not be the solution to your skincare issues. First, they might prescribe you with a topical cream. If that doesn’t work, they might decide that your skin would benefit from laser treatments. It’s up to them andyou.

Moving forward, you should try to take steps to help better and protect your skin, and that starts with SPF. Being out in the sun can make your dark spots worse which is why sunscreen is always a must. Don’t let your hyperpigmentation get worse and don’t bake out in the sun! No matter how much you want that sun-kissed tan, today’s tan can turn into tomorrow’s sunspots. Beware!