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Pigmented Lesions: Birthmarks, "Cafe-au-lait,"
Hormonal, and "Age Spots"
We're all born with birthmarks (benign pigmented lesions), even if it's only a few freckles. And some of us are born with more prominent pigmented lesions, such as cafe-au-lait spots, that can be cosmetically troublesome if on the face, neck, or some other visible area.
Age spots (solar lentigines), too, can be cosmetically bothersome. They're caused by excessive exposure to the sun, and most adults eventually get them. And some women acquire unwanted pigmented lesions from the hormonal changes caused by pregnancy or birth control pills.
There used to be little you could do about pigmented lesions. But now laser technology has revolutionized treatment so that many pigmented lesions can be virtually erased.
Understanding Pigmented Lesions
Pigmented Lesions are caused by an excess of melanin in certain skin cells (melanin is the substance that gives skin its color) Some pigmented lesions, such as cafe-au-lait, hormonal, and ages spots, are closer to the surface (in the epidermis), while others are deeper in the skin (in the dermis).
In the past, the only remedy for pigmented lesions was to cover them with make-up. More recently, dermabrasion, cryosurgery, and other techniques have been tried, but they can leave a scar or a visible white, unpigmented area.
VersaPulse®, the New Treatment Option
Now there's the VersaPulse® Aesthetic Laser, is a state-of-the-art system specially designed to treat a full range of pigmented lesions.
The VersaPulse Advantage
Pigmented lesions vary in color, depending on the type of lesion and the natural tone of the person's skin. This means that not every pigmented lesion absorbs the same color of light. Earlier lasers emitted only one color of light, often requiring doctors to use two or more lasers and repeated sessions to treat pigmented lesions.
The VersaPulse Aesthetic Laser produces short pulses of a wide spectrum of light colors to treat the full range of pigmented lesions. The entire treatment involves no incisions.
What You Can Expect
Removing age or hormonal spots may take only one or two 15 - 30-minute laser treatments; cafe-au-lait spots and other birthmarks often take more sessions. Sessions are usually spaced 6 - 8 weeks apart and are performed in the Lourdes Ophthalmology Surgery / Laser Treatment Center.
The laser treatment itself feels like numerous small snaps with a rubberband. Most patients do not require anesthesia during the procedure. Topical or local anesthesia is provided for those who do.
The appearance of the treated area immediately after a laser session will vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of treatment. Immediate after-effects, if any, are minor. They may include redness, light crusting, or tenderness, all of which disappear in a short time. Your physician will be happy to tell you more about your treatment and what you can expect.
For more information, call Lourdes Ophthalmology Surgery / Laser Treatment Center at 607-798-5991.