Freckles are small pale-brown, harmless spots that appear in sun exposed areas of the skin like face, neck, shoulders and hands. They get worst during the summer and subside during winter. Freckles are most common in red or fair-haired and fair-skinned people.
Although most of the freckles are harmless, people wanted them removed. Before lasers were developed, treatment options were either neglect it, cover them with makeup or other procedures like chemical bleaching, dermabrasion, electrodesiccation and peeling. While other have tried some home remedies for freckles like lemon, potato and over the counter bleaching creams with less success. In the recent years laser freckle removal has gained popularity with much success rate them other alternative procedures.
Several lasers are available for freckle removal; among them Q-switched laser treatment seems to be very effective. These lasers include Q-switched Ruby lasers, Q-switched Nd: YAG lasers and Q-switched alexandrite lasers. Original studies and reports have suggested that these lasers have high successive rate with low risk of scarring or skin discoloration.
As suggested, laser freckle removal technique is very good procedure for removing your freckles. However, it is very important to consult a dermatologist to make sure that there are no any precancerous or cancerous lesions. After your dermatologist confirms that these are no other harmful lesion and gives you a green light, you can proceed with lasers. Laser freckle removal is safe as long as you perform with a reputed and good cosmetic surgeon or a dermatologist.
How Does Laser Freckle Removal Works?
Initially, your cosmetic surgeon may apply local anesthesia to the surface being treated to make sure you won’t have any discomfort during procedure. After 30-60 minutes of anesthetics, laser treatment procedure is performed. The laser light is then transmitted over the area to be treated where it is absorbed by melanin. This high power short pulses of energy heats and breaks the melanin pigment and removes it. Some people may find it discomfort.
After you are done with the procedure, your doctor will prescribe some antibiotic ointment to be applied locally until the lesion heals followed by strict sunscreen use to prevent post inflammatory hyper pigmentation. Clinical improvement of your freckles will be seen after 3-8 weeks. If there is no satisfactory improvement in the lesion, you may have to go for another session of laser therapy, which can be done between 4-6 weeks interval.
What about the side effects of freckle laser removal?
Laser freckle removal is safe and has minimal side effects if you perform with a experienced cosmetic surgeon or a dermatologist. There may be mild swelling, bruising or redness around the area being treated, which is temporary and resolves within few days or a week. Serious complications are very rare.
Laser freckle removal can permanently treat your already existing freckles, but it’s not a permanent cure for the upcoming ones. If you have a genetic tendency of getting freckles you may get new freckles again and sun exposure makes it worse. To avoid further freckles and pigmentation follow the following suggestions.
- Always use sunscreen with SPF 15 or more through out the year.
- Avoid peak sun hours from 10 am to 4 pm. Try to find some shade and stay indoors during these hours
- Wear wide-brimmed hats while on the sun.
- Wear sun protective clothing like long sleeves, shirts and pants.
How much does laser freckle removal cost?
The cost of laser freckle removal may vary greatly depending on your freckle type, area to be treated, laser surgeon, your skin type and treatment session required. So there is no specific rate for laser freckle removal. Usually in countries like US, Canada and UK prices are higher, while in Asian countries prices are lower, but it varies on your skin area to be treated.