Push Away the Pigmentation Problem

Posted on September 26, 2017

Dr. Sneh Thadani of SSD Hospital suggests different therapies for the treatment of pigmentation.

Your skin gets its colour from a pigment called melanin. Special cells in the skin make melanin. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production. Some pigmentation disorders affect just patches of skin. Others affect your entire body.

Pigmentation on the face

Unwanted pigmentation problems, like brown spots or splotchy skin, have many reasons and can occur in all skin types. Fortunately, dermatologists have investigated a variety of skin-lightening methods and have developed many promising treatments. Depending on the severity and extent of the pigmentation problem, we at SSD Hospital can tailor a patient’s treatment based on his or her individual skin tone, and the treatment may include a single therapy or a combination of one to two therapies.

Chemical Peels

The chemical peel is an application of medicine that causes removal of the damaged outer layers of skin. This leads to skin regeneration and improves the appearance of the facial skin making it smooth and glowing.

Chemical peels can treat a variety of skin imperfections including blemishes, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, pigmentation and acne scars. There are three types of chemical peels including the phenol peel which is the strongest, the trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel, and the alphahydroxy acid (AHA) peel which is the mildest.

Candidates for the chemical peel include men and women who are looking to improve wrinkles and other blemishes of the facial skin.

The chemical peel can be particularly effective in treating fine wrinkles on the cheeks, forehead and eye area as well as vertical wrinkles around the mouth.

Chemical peels may produce reddening and peeling similar to a sunburn, which typically lasts a few days to several weeks, depending on the strength and depth of the peel. Most peels have literally no ‘downtime’ because they do not take the skin off.

What can chemical peels do:


Lighten unwanted pigmentation and even out skin tone.


Brightens your skin.


Smooth out Rough skin.


Lighten acne blemishes and prevent future outbreaks


Increase collagen and elastin.

What can chemical peels do:

Q Switched Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) is a lasing medium that helps in targeting dermal pigmentation and melasma that is not amenable to treatment with depigmenting creams and chemical peels. While the epidermal lesions respond best to 532 nm (frequency doubled NdYAG) the dermal lesions are better treated with 1064 nm.

Q-switched lasers are the gold standard for treatment of tattoos. Freckles Response is same as for lentigines. Although very effective, risk of dyspigmentation exists. Lentigines usually 1-2 sessions are enough to clear lentigines at 532 nm. However there is a risk of hypo/hyperpigmentation, so avoidance of sun exposure for 4-6 weeks post laser is very important.

Cafe-au lait macules These again can be treated effectively in 1-2 sessions, but recurrence is common which requires multiple treatments.

Freckles: Response is same as for lentigines. Although very effective, risk of dyspigmentation exists.

Dermal pigmented lesions: Nevus of Ota, Nevus of Ito, mongolian spots, Hori’s nevus, ABNOMs (acquired bilateral nevus of Ota like macules), and other flat pigmented birthmarks respond well at 1064 nm. Multiple sessions are usually required with near-total clearing of the lesion in most cases.

Melasma The dermal component of melasma can also be treated but recurrence is common and complete clearance is not seen.

Fading of the lesion will be noted over 8 weeks and retreatment energy levels can be taloired depending on the clinical response observed. Treatment is to be repeated every 15 days.

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