The Pigmented Lesion laser is designed to treat superficial brown blemishes and is effective in removing marks like café au lait patches, freckles some flat pigmented moles and birthmarks including Naevus of Ota.
If the problem area is tanned, it is best to wait for the tan to fade before having treatment. as the tan will absorb some of the laser energy intended for the pigmented lesion. You should therefore avoid exposing to the sun the areas to be treated for at least three weeks beforehand; if you are very tanned, it would be wise to delay treatment until your tan has faded.
Aspiring or anti-clotting treatments designed to thin the blood will increase the likelihood of local bruising after treatment, and so are best avoided for two weeks before treatment. Consult your GP first to ensure that this is in order.
No special preparation is needed. Mr Gault will deliver the laser beam to circular areas about 5mm in diameter. The treatment is not particularly painful - it feels rather like a rubber hand being snapped against the skin - but if the blemish is in a sensitive area, an anaesthetic cream can be used to dull the sensation.
Initially the treated areas become white. They may then crust over, although often the areas heal over without forming a scab. A transient redness or a bruise may occur in the treatment zone. Any discolouration normally fades within 7-14 days.
Repeated treatments may be necessary and 100% clearing cannot be expected. With full treatment, 60 - 80% clearing is typical. The number of treatments will vary depending on the colour of the blemish and its size, but many will be cleared after 4-6 treatments. Some blemishes do not disappear completely, but will be significantly lighter in colour after treatment. If the area to be treated is very small, it may be neither practical nor necessary to carry out a test patch.
The risk of unwanted re-pigmentation is greater if the skin is exposed to the sun after treatment, and it is wise to wear a TOTAL sunblock on the treated area for at least six weeks, and then to avoid excessive sun exposure for a further six months.