The most noticeable effect of photoageing is age spots or lentigines, which are caused by localised over-production of melanin.
To remove them completely we use the Q-switched laser.
The lasers used in dermatology and aesthetic medicine work by a process of selective photothermolysis - exploiting the ability of the area of tissue containing a specific chromophore (melanin in liver spots or exogenous pigment in tattoos) to absorb and convert light into thermal energy, causing lysis (breaking down) of the affected tissue.
The Q-switched laser works on two different wavelengths (532 nm for the KTP and 1064 nm for the Nd: YAG) to make the best use of the selective photothermolysis process and allow the targetted destruction of melanin pigment particles or the cells that carry the colour.
Q-switching is combined with the KTP 532 nm and the Nd: YAG 1064 nm lasers to remove the endogenous (produced by the body) or exogenous (tattoo) pigment after it has been broken down, to avoid scarring; the body itself, in fact, "clears out" the small pigment particles naturally within 3-4 weeks of treatment.
Types of blemish that can be treated by laser:
Benign pigmented lesions caused by sun exposure, even on delicate parts of the body such as the face, chest and backs of hands
Melasma; lasers are not, in fact, the preferred treatment for this condition, the primary indication for which is chemical or surgical peeling which transmits lightening substances transdermally, or in more resistant cases, the Sellas 1550 fractional laser; however, Q-switching has proved effective in certain cases.
The skin condition and the areas to be treated are examined and photographed. The treatment is not painful. The laser light is then applied; during treatment an optical effect called the "popcorn" effect (whitening) is observed, which occurs when the pigment is struck by the laser light and fragmented into smaller particles. This phenomenon recedes within 1-2 hours. A slight swelling (edema) appears later and tends to last for 24-48 hours after the treatment. Immediately after the treatment a dressing is applied with a soothing anti-inflammatory - Dermirit cream. It is essential to avoid exposure to direct sunlight following treatment, and to use total sunblock for long periods.
Cases in which the treatment cannot be used:
It is important that the skin should not have been exposed to sunlight or artificial UV rays, so patients with tanned skin should wait before having the treatment; dark photographs are difficult to treat.
The treatment can not be carried out on patients with certain skin diseases that involve sensitivity to light, on patients with chronic skin diseases or skin diseases in the acute phase, in cases where the skin to be treated is affected by any viral or bacterial infection, on patients who are taking photosensitising medication, or on patients with severe systemic diseases. It is therefore essential to inform the doctor if you have been subject to any of the above, even in the past, at the time of treatment or in the weeks leading up to it. Each patient is asked to complete a form at the preliminary visit to report these issues.
In rare cases, laser treatment can cause transitory hyperchromia (darker colouration of the skin) or slow re-pigmentation hypochromia (patches of lighter colouration in the surrounding area), and can trigger scarring from burns in very rare cases.
Number of sessions required:
varies depending on the condition to be treated. For the treatment of benign pigmented lesions one session may be enough, but a check-up may be required after 5 weeks.