Today’s Question: My friend had a laser treatment on her face to get rid of her brown spots, but I was told I couldn’t have that same treatment. Why not? I really want to get rid of these brown patches! Tori, Winona Lake
A. Tori, I understand how frustrating it can be when you just want smoother, younger looking skin. It sounds like you may have either a different skin tone than your friend, a different skin condition altogether or both. Since you described the brown on your face as “patches” I am guessing you may suffer from the skin condition melasma. There has never been a safe laser option for melasma until now. So, you are in luck!
In case you don’t know, Tori, melasma is caused by overactive pigment producing cells that is often linked to pregnancy, but has other causes including hormonal treatments and sun exposure. Researchers do not know the exact cause of melasma. All they know is there is a relationship between hormones and the sun with this skin disorder. It can develop with the use of birth control pills and sun exposure or just sun exposure alone. A fairly common skin condition, melasma affects mostly women, but according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 10 percent of those affected are men. Brown patches of skin associated with melasma usually appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose and upper lip, but can form anywhere your body is exposed to the sun.
In the past, to treat melasma we had to use prescription creams and chemical peels. Those both still work great, but now we have a faster and more technologically-advanced option. The laser treatment I am referring to is called the PICO Genesis. Is it a non-invasive, non-ablative procedure to reduce pigment for those patients who were previously not candidates including those with melasma and those with darker skin tones. It is a safe and effective procedure for all skin types with no downtime resulting in brighter, more uniform skin tone and complexion.
No matter the cause of your brown spots, Tori, you will want to be sure to wear your SPF every day to prevent them from getting worse or coming back after you have been treated. If you have any questions about the best options for your skin, I recommend a consultation with a trained medical aesthetics professional.
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner practicing in Warsaw. She is a sought-after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on Botox, fillers and sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medi Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com