Frequently Asked Questions About Treatments For Hyperpigmentations
1. What is Hyperpigmentation Removal?
2. When can Hyperpigmentation Removal be performed?
3. What does a typical Hyperpigmentation Removal consultation
4. How is Hyperpigmentation Removal performed?
5. What should I expect post-treatment?
6. Does Hyperpigmentation Removal hurt?
7. When will I be able to see the results?
8. What are the risks of Hyperpigmentation Removal?
9. What is Arnica montana and/or Bromelain, I have heard that
these homeopathics reduce swelling and bruising? Which is the best kind to take?
10. Are the results permanent?
treatments are used to eradicate darkened areas of the skin which may result
from hormones, sun damage, injuries, skin-type characteristics, medications and
more. Hyperpigmentation lesions can be anything from melasma/cholasma
often attributed to pregnancy or hormonal imbalances to freckles.
The treatments vary from melanin
blocking agents combined with topical medications such as Retin A which causes
the body to exfoliate the skin to rid the body of the hyperpigmentation while
prohibiting new melanin production to laser treatments. The treatments
wholly depend upon your needs and skin type. Some treatments can actually
cause hypo- (lack of) and hyperpigmentation problems in some individuals.
Care must be taken in proper diagnosis for a successful result.
Hyperpigmentation Removal be performed?
There really is no set age although some
treatments may not be appropriate for children. However, there are topical
anesthetics available for children with marked hyperpigmentations across the
face, neck, arms and hands whose parents are seeking removal.
does a typical Hyperpigmentation Removal consultation entail?
After checking a few
surgeons' backgrounds and credentials, you will make an appointment for a
consultation. You will meet with these surgeons/dermatologists/aestheticians
(depending) and discuss your goals and you will disclose all information
regarding your health; if you smoke, what medications or vitamins you presently
take, etc., this is very important. You really should consider
smoking cessation as this can significantly decrease healing for more invasive
procedures. Visit the Medication
& Supplements List for more information.
You will discuss your complaints
and concerns and discuss the various techniques, the amount that can be
corrected, etc. He or she should discuss the risks associated with
hyperpigmentation removal procedures with you, as well.
If you would like
more information on Consultations or a list of questions to ask your surgeon
please visit the Consultation Help Page.
If you should choose to book or reserve a surgery date you will usually give a
deposit to hold your surgery date. Most times if you cancel a few days
beforehand, this amount is non-refundable. After paying your deposit and
scheduling a surgery date, you will also schedule a pre-operative appointment.
How is a
Hyperpigmentation Removal treatment performed?
Depending upon the procedure the
pigmentation irregularity may be removed either all at once or gradually by
either, manual or chemical-induced exfoliation, laser or Intense pulsed Light
treatment or other means. Please discuss this with your physician and see
the appropriate pages in this website for procedure-specific details. Please see
our Hyperpigmentation Removal Section for
I expect post-treatment?
The recovery period varies significantly and is
highly dependent upon the treatment chosen. Please see the appropriate
procedure section for detailed information regarding its recovery period as well
as discuss this with your physician.
see our Hyperpigmentation Removal Section
for more information.
experience a lull or down period where they become depressed or feel
unattractive. This is very normal. Please print out our Emotional
Preparation Sheet so that you will be able to remind yourself that you
will get through your low period.
Hyperpigmentation Removal hurt?
This also depends upon the treatment chosen, some
treatments have been reported as having discomfort during or after treatment,
some quite painful -- although the possible accompanying pain of all treatments
should be alleviated by prescribed pain relievers. Some treatments such as
hydroquinone usually involves no pain whatsoever.
When will I
be able to see the results?
Results can be seen anywhere from immediately to
several months post-treatment (or post series of treatments).
What are the
risks of Hyperpigmentation Removal?
The risks, complications &
contraindications vary significantly and is highly dependent upon the treatment
For Chemical Peels:
have oral herpes. You MUST gain the approval of your primary physician and
seek a prescription for oral acyclovir - one brand name is Zovirax®.
This is very important! Zovirax® can significantly decrease your chances
of a break out. If you have a break out during your healing period, it can
spread to your entire face and result in severe and permanent scarring.
Be careful of crusting or
excessive weeping. In AHA peels you may think this is normal but there is
a borderline appearances that you must watch out for. Ask your skin care
specialist for specifics regarding what to look for. If for a typical AHA
peel, you should feel and look normal within 3 to 4 days. For deeper peels
your downtime may take weeks and then months for complete recovery.
If you experience painful areas of the face, contact your surgeon or skin care
specialist immediately. ESPECIALLY if you are prone to cold sores.
Blisters that form will need to be reported immediately!
coloration) and hypopigmentation (lack of pigmentation) can be problematic of
misdiagnosed skin types, failure to reveal any skin problems or ethnicity and
improper post-peel care. Infection is uncommon but possible so keep an eye
out for redness and pain.
Scarring is a problem if the
above is experienced so please adhere to your post-peel instructions to decrease
your chances of long term or permanent, visible signs of damage.
For Laser Resurfacing:
There are minor risks and
complications involved with Laser Skin Resurfacing which include but are not
limited to prolonged hyperpigmentation. In 5 to 10% of patients, darkening or brown
discoloration will occur requiring bleaching creams. This will generally
resolved the discoloration in 2 to 3 months. Prolonged redness occurs in 3 to 5% of
patients and this delays the fading to normal color by about 2 months.
There may be more
intense burns associated with laser resurfacing. Take care in choosing your
surgeon wisely. A specialist should be sought as the surgeon who is not
experienced with the technique and light touch could very well burn
you rather deeply, making matters worse.
If you have oral
herpes. You MUST gain the approval of your primary physician and seek a
prescription for oral acyclovir -- one brand name is Zovirax®. This
is very important! Zovirax® can significantly decrease your chances of a
break out. If you have a break out during your healing period, it can
spread to your entire face and result in severe and permanent scarring.
Patients with olive
skin, brown skin or black skin (ethnic skin tones) may be at risk for
pigmentation changes (hypo-/hyper- pigmentation) no matter what type of
resurfacing method is recommended. Your surgeon should evaluate your skin
characteristics and family history before making any diagnosis for treatment.
*Warning: Patients having used Accutane in the past 12-18 months, those who are
prone to abnormal scarring or Keloids and those with frequent skin
eruptions such as psoriasis, eczema and herpes may not be good candidates for
Laser Skin Resurfacing. Consult with your doctor for more on this subject.
Intense Pulsed Light:
Although rare, blistering
or slight bleeding is possible as is hypo- or hyper-pigmentation
(lightened or darkened areas of skin). If pigmentation problems occur, it may be
anywhere from 3 to 12 months before normal skin tome returns. This is especially so
with hypo-pigmentation (lack of color). Be aware that some patients may
experience permanent skin pigmentation changes. Scarring is possible although it
too is a rare occurrence.
There are not many risks
associated with microdermabrasion if you are a healthy adult, but
enough to mention for those of you with skin or medical conditions. If the
medical grade machines are used at high power it carries potential risks of
hyperpigmentation, perforation, bleeding, and infection.
Infection can also be a
risk if the machines are not sterile.
Many components of these machines are
meant to be sterilized, autoclaved or changed out with a new disposable piece.
Any and all pieces that come into contact with your skin should be able to be
sterilized or changed out.
Furthermore, it was brought up by a doctor in an
article on Medscape, that there could be possible harm from the inhalation of
the aluminum in the Al2O3 crystals, also known as Corundum.
*Also, you should
NOT have a microdermabrasion treatment on the affected area if you have the
- Undiagnosed lesions
- Recent herpes outbreaks
- Active, weeping acne (stages
- Active Rosacea
- Unstable diabetes
- Auto-immune system disorders
- Some patients hyperpigment
post-op. Lower pressures are used on follow-up treatments for these
*source for the
immediate above, Medscape Medical Journal (1999)
For Melanin Blocking-type
Risks can be irritation, permanent hypopigmentation, increased
hyperpigmentations if you do not use sun block during this time.
Ochronosis (black speckles or discolorations) if high strengths are used for
long periods of time - especially in patients with
ethnic backgrounds, or naturally darker skin.
Arnica montana or Bromelain, I have heard that these homeopathics reduce
swelling and bruising? Which is the best kind to take? This can be used
for invasive procedures such as dermabrasion, deep chemical peels and laser resurfacing.
also known as:
Tobacco, Mountain Arnica, Common Arnica, Leopard's Bane and Sneezewort
plant family: Asteraceae
type: Herbaceous perennial
parts used: Roots and flowers
description: Arnica montana or Leopard's Bane is a perennial herb,
growing close to the ground. The leaves form a flat rosette, from the center of
which rises a flower stalk, 1 to 2 feet high, bearing orange-yellow flowers. The
rhizome is dark brown, cylindrical, usually curved, and bears brittle wiry
rootlets on the under surface.
habitat: Indigenous to Central Europe, in woods and mountain pastures,
although it has been found in England and Southern Scotland.
warning: This herb should NEVER be taken in raw form. This plant, like
many medicinal plants if ingested, can cause intestinal bleeding, abdominal
cramping and sickness. Homeopathy is the medicinal use of tinctures and
suspensions using herbs and other plants and should never be consumed without
proper preparation. Only respectable homeopathic remedies and tinctures should
from the plant of the: Pineapple
also known as: Ananas, Nanas, Pina
plant family: Bromeliaceae
parts used: mostly in the stems of pineapples, but some fruit is used as
description: 2 1/2 to 5 ft. high with a spread of 3 to 4 ft. The plant is
like a thick stem with a rosette of wide, waxy leaves. These pointed
green, red, and white/off white striped leaves are approximately 18 - 70 inches
long and graced with a spiny needle-like tip.
plant produces a sweet to tangy and sometimes sour fruit that is yellow to white
in color. The unpeeled fruit is brownish with a hard, spiky covering and a large
green sprout from it crown. The fruit is shaped like a coffee can with rounded
ends and is about 10-12 inches long usually when considered prime and may even
weigh up to 10 lbs.
to southern Brazil and Paraguay, The fruit
is now grown all over in green houses and in the fields of Spain, Guatemala,
Hawaii and more. The pineapple is a tropical plant and thrives in hot, humid
places. Although it can survive cold snaps, it is not recommended for the more
northern areas if intended to be grown outdoors.
Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory formula
containing the proteolytic enzyme from the stems of pineapples.
Proteolytic enzymes are capable of dissolving proteins. It is most often used
after sports injuries, to relive edema and after surgical procedures to help
ALWAYS ASK YOUR SURGEON FIRST
BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATION.
Are the results permanent?
This largely depends upon your
post-treatment habits. Repeat sun exposure or medication use can continue
to cause hyperpigmentations. Hormonal imbalances can continue to cause
hyperpigmentations. Some patients may need to continue hydroquinone or Kojic
acid use to prohibit hyperpigmentation reformation after their initial removal