Pigmented lesions are darker areas of the skin caused by excess melanin in skin cells. Some pigmented lesions are present at birth, such as birthmarks, and some are acquired over time, such as sunspots on sun-exposed areas.
During treatment, Q-switched laser pulses are applied directly to the complete area of the lesion. The skin cells containing excess melanin absorb the intense laser energy, heat up, and degenerate. Meanwhile, the surrounding skin tissue is unharmed. After treatment, as the area heals, the immune system flushes away the dead skin cells and reveals lighter, unblemished skin.
Procedure time depends on the size of the lesion treated. An age spot can take a single second to treat, while a large birthmark or nevus can take up to a few minutes. Patients may experience slight discomfort during the procedure, but the side effects are minimal.
Most pigmented lesions can achieve complete removal after an adequate number of sessions. Some small lesions (such as freckles or age spots) may take a single treatment to remove – others can take six or more treatments, depending on a variety of factors.