Note: I like to use the word "Pigmentation" in my blog because it is commonly known by the people. But in fact, "Hyperpigmentation" is the correct term to use when we indicate abnormally excessive pigmentation on our face.
#1: All Pigmentation Problems are the SAME, and they require SIMILAR treatment.
There are different types of Hyperpigmentary Disorder. Mainly, I categorise them into two different groups based on cause – Congenital or Acquired. We also may group them according to the layer of skin that is affected – Epidermal, Dermal or Mixed.
As you can see from here, different types of hyperpigmentation might have different origin, aggressiveness, complexity and also affecting different layers of our skin, of course we need to treat them differently.
Some hyperpigmentation can be removed easily with lesser sessions of treatments such as epidermal freckles, solar lentigo, age spots. Mainly because they located at epidermis (the top layer of our skin), what we need to do is to peel that affected top layer of safely then we are able to treat the problem.
In contrary, many others hyperpigmentations are much more complicated eg. Melasma, dermal pigmentation, PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), etc.. Most of them are a chronic problem which accumulated for a long time, it is impossible that we are able to treat them in short period of time without harming our skin.
#2: My therapist from the Salon told me NOT to do Laser as it will DARKEN my pigmentation
Yes, I agree that not all types of hyperpigmentation requires laser treatment. However, laser will never darken your pigmentation if it is done RIGHT!!
We shouldn’t focus on single treatment approach when we are dealing with the hyperpigmentation. Combination treatments is a must. You need to use topical or oral sunblock to protect from sun damage, that is the first step. Then you might need topical lightening agent to prep your skin. You also need to hydrate your skin with skin boosters. Lastly, we add in LASER treatments because they are the most advanced tools in the market which can effectively remove your hyperpigmentation in a very fast way.
Again, I have to emphasise here, good and safe laser machines in an experienced and skilful doctor is the key.
#3: I am STUCKED once I started Laser Treatment, there is no turning back
In most cases, after few sessions of Laser treatments, your hyperpigmentation should be much reduced to a satisfactory level. At this level, you no longer need frequent laser treatment, you may prolong your laser treatment interval to once every 3-4 months as a maintenance. Or, you may also stop your laser treatment completely and switch to topical lightening agent or oral skin brightening supplements as a maintenance.
I try to make it more simple to understand…the pigment cells will be forever under your skin, and that is a FACT. Our happy Sun will always be there shining on you. So there is no way that your pigment cell will stop growing by itself when you decided to do nothing. But, choices are always in your hands, how much the results and effectiveness of course directly proportionate to the choices you made.
When you decide to start the Laser treatment, YES, I think you should treat it as a major decision as if you choosing your job, choosing the right school for your kids, or as if you are choosing partners..You need to do some research and studies, be patience and most importantly be committed.
There’s a difference between INTEREST and COMMITMENT. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re COMMITTED to something, you accept no excuses; only results.Kenneth Blanchard
#4: Hey, there is this Salon doing special promo and give free trial, let’s go!
A wise consumer should compare the value of the products or services rather than just the price itself.
Imagine this, you had a higher degree in your specialty and you had 10 years experience in the job, but your boss tells you that another fresh graduate who ask for lesser pay can simply replace you and deliver the similar outcome, does it sounds fair to you?
Is just like car, Mercedes definitely cost way more higher compare to a Proton car right? People who loves car will find the value in it, the safety features, the experience, the power, the stability..etc. Of course there are a group of people whom their main aim is to arrive the destination disregards using which car. It is a choice, there is no right or wrong. All depending on the value you sees the situation.
Even nowadays you step in a hair salon, the receptionist will ask you, Who do you prefer? A junior hair stylist or a Senior hair stylist? Of course their price are different. The question is, is it mean that the junior one definitely not better than senior? Well, that’s not true either, it is matter of chances. Reminded that all the seniors learnt and grew from a junior.
#5: No No No!! No laser please..Laser just gonna make my skin thinner and more sensitive
Well this is not true!! Most of the pigment laser will generate your collagen renewal process, just the matter of time, which averagely takes 30-60days. Which means, your skin will eventually become “thicker” and firmer after the laser treatment.
Anyway, average thickness of the skin on the face is between 1.5mm to 2.0mm. We are talking about millilitres here. The thickness will not change much with the laser treatment.
Yes, immediate after or few days after the laser, you might experience mild redness (erythema) as part of the down-time of the laser. This is transient, and it is due to stimulation of the inflammatory process (this inflammatory process is what we want to remove the pigment cell as we as generate the new collagen cell).
Alright, here are the few comments or feedbacks that I commonly received from my patients. So, I hope with this post, I am able to give you a clearer picture on laser treatments in hyperpigmentary disorder.