3 questions to an expert

I use cryotherapy, a flash lamp or lasers to treat pigmentation spots

Img_I use cryotherapy, a flash lamp or lasers to treat pigmentation spots

Melanin deposits at the base of the epidermis and sometimes in the dermis, and pigmentation spots appear on exposed areas of the skin. There are available techniques to diminish their appearance or make them disappear. Interview with a dermatologist.

How do pigmentation spots appear?

The most common spots are actinic lentigo,

a consequence of skin ageing caused by the sun.  They often appear after the age of 50, on the back of the hands and on the face. The pill or pregnancy can also make small or large dark brown spots appear on the forehead and cheeks brought out by the sun. This is melasma. People should also be aware that wearing perfume in the summer can stain the skin.

What procedures do you use to treat them?

Before any procedure, we have to make sure that the lesions are benign.

A dermatological examination is required. I often use cryotherapy (when it is not sunny) for actinic lentigo (back of the hands and face). Whereas a flash lamp can provide a global treatment for pigmented skin, pigment lasers (Q-switched ND yag, alexandrite) are also very effective. Treating melasma, where the pigmentation is often deep, is more difficult.

What are the outcomes of these treatments?

The outcomes are simple. With cryotherapy, a small dark scab forms which disappears after two weeks.

The treated areas can then remain whiter for a few weeks. The disappearance is quicker with lasers, and there is no risk of a white spot remaining.  The important thing to prevent them from coming back is systematic protection from the sun with a hat and a high factor sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays.

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