Laser Pigmentation Removal – How to Prepare and What to Expect
Located in Raleigh, North Carolina and serving patients Nationwide
Preparing For Your Laser Pigmentation Removal Treatment
Follow these guidelines unless your laser technician directs otherwise.
- We ask that you are freshly showered or bathed with completely clean skin, without lotions, oils, creams or fragrances of any kind before coming in. If there is excessive hair in the treatment area, we recommend shaving the area prior to treatment.
- Avoid sun exposure to the treatment area, and do not use UV tanning beds at all for four weeks before treatment. The use of self-tanning skin care products must be discontinued 2 weeks prior to treatment, and any residual self-tanner must be removed in order to perform the treatment.
- Numbing agents may not be used in the treatment area as it can interfere with the efficacy of treatment.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of 30 or above on a daily basis (rain or shine).
- Do not use any topical products that cause photosensitivity (e.g. hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, retinols, and benzoyl peroxide) in the treatment areas for three days before treatment. Use a gentle cleanser and lotion on treated areas.
- Follow instructions regarding all oral prescription medications that we provided at your medical laser consultation. If you are taking any new or different medications, including antibiotics, contact our office prior to your appointment.
- If you have received any medical spa services in the treatment area, such as Botox®, dermal fillers, laser or spa services, please contact our office to ensure that treatment may still be performed.
What to Expect During Your Laser Pigmentation Removal Appointment
Following the consultation, if we determine you are a good candidate, we will proceed with treatment. Your laser technician will begin by asking a few pertinent questions about your recent health history to ensure there are no contraindications for treatment. The technician will discuss your treatment desires and at that time you can specifically let us know what pigmentation you would like to treat. The treatment area will be cleansed and prepared for treatment. Your technician will talk you through the treatment to ensure you won’t experience any surprises.
While receiving laser pigmentation removal, you will be required to wear protective eyewear. You may still be able to see a flash of light, but your eyes will be completely covered. The laser technicians wear protective eyewear, as well. During the treatment, all areas of the body that will not be lasered will be covered with clothing. Only the areas to receive laser treatment will be exposed. We are always mindful of your comfort and your peace of mind; we will let you know ahead of time what to expect.
The treatment can be performed in as little as 15 minutes, depending on the treatment area. Most patients experience little discomfort while receiving this laser treatment. Following treatment you may feel a little discomfort, but generally people experience redness, mild swelling and/or tenderness in treatment area that will resolve in a quick manner. The post treatment area response will vary from patient to patient depending on the extent of treatment.
After Your Laser Pigmentation Removal Treatment
- Erythema (redness), edema (swelling), scabbing, flaking, irritation or blistering in treatment area will most likely occur. This may persist for several days. A white-gray discoloration of the treatment area may appear immediately following treatment and last for a few minutes to a few days. Your pigmentation may darken, lighten, fade or even appear to have no change immediately post treatment. Laser pigmentation removal works by eliminating pigment in the surface of the skin through the body’s lymphatic system. Your pigmentation may darken, lighten, fade or even appear to have no change immediately post treatment. On average, it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to process the pigment. Multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired results.
- Discomfort may be relieved by taking an over the counter pain reliever or by using ice packs or cool compresses in 20-30 minute intervals.
- Avoid sun exposure to the treatment area throughout the course of your laser treatments. If sun exposure is necessary, keep treatment area covered with a non-adherent bandage. Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, and do not use UV tanning beds at all for four weeks after treatment.
- Once per day use a gentle soap to cleanse treatment area and pat dry. To keep the treatment area moist, apply Post Laser Gel or hydrocortisone twice per day for 7-10 days post treatment, or until the treatment area is healed.
- If scabbing occurs, it is very important not to pick, shave, rub, scratch or aggressively wash the area to prevent possible scarring. If blistering occurs, do not drain blisters. Allow them to dry and heal on their own. Care should be taken to prevent trauma to the treated area for the first 7-10 days following treatment.
- Physical exercise (aerobics, sport activities) should be discontinued for 1 to 2 days. Rough physical activities (playing football) should be discontinued for 10 days post treatment.
- Return in 4-6 weeks for assessment.
If you have any concerns or questions, please call our office at (919) 870-6066
Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Pigmentation Removal
Can All Pigmentation Be Treated?
We can treat benign pigmentation, such as freckles.
Does Laser Tattoo Removal Hurt?
The degree of discomfort varies with each person depending on the depth of the pigmentation, the location on the body and the type of pigmentation being removed.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The number of treatments will depend on how large the pigmentation is, what type of pigmentation is being treated, and the depth of the pigmentation. Some pigmented lesions will require several treatments for optimal results, however, some can be resolved in a single treatment.
How Often Can Treatments Be Performed?
The frequency of your pigmentation removal appointments will be based on clinical judgment. For most patients this ranges between 4-6 weeks.