Kaiser Permanente’s Cosmetic Services Department in Walnut Creek has been wonderful. They successfully and safely treated dark spots (from sun exposure) on my face through a combination of both topical and laser treatments. My esthetician, Cat VanBergen is wonderful and I feel really lucky to have found her. The professionalism, expertise, and kindness of everyone at Kaiser Cosmetic Services have been a true blessing.
Laser Removal of Brown Spots
High-energy pulsing lasers can safely and effectively remove many unwanted brown and red spots on your skin, including liver spots, age spots, sun spots, broken capillaries, birthmarks, and angiomas (red spots). Once the lasers do their job, you can have a more even skin tone.
Laser treatments usually take 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the size, color, and depth of the spot, as well as the number of spots to be treated. Most treatments do not require any anesthetic, and all are done on an outpatient basis. Red spots can usually be treated in one to two visits. Brown spots may require two to three visits. Broken capillaries or red-colored scars may need multiple treatments.
When removing red spots, the skin is often reddened or bruised for 7 to 10 days after the treatment and may sting like a sunburn for a few hours. Removing brown spots forms an abrasion and also temporarily reddens the skin. After each treatment, you can resume your normal activities immediately, although you should keep the treated area out of the sun for at least 6 weeks, or as long as your doctor advises. Once the area is healed, you should protect it with sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher whenever it is exposed to the sun.
Side effects may include hypopigmentation (lightening of the treated skin) or hyperpigmentation (darkening of the treated skin). Laser treatment will not stop new spots from forming. Your doctor will discuss with you all the risks and benefits of treatment during your consultation.
Lasers are only effective on certain types of spots – primarily marks that have a discrete boundary. If your skin tone is uneven, or if you are bothered by general discoloration, you may be a good candidate for treatment using Obagi NuDerm® Systems or a chemical peel. Your doctor can discuss your options with you.
What Should I Look for in a Laser Practitioner?
The treatment should be performed by a registered nurse (RN) or physician who’s trained to operate a laser. Different treatment choices must be made for each patient. Side effects such as skin discoloration can result if the laser is operated by an inexperienced practitioner. At Kaiser Permanente, we provide only laser trained RNs or physicians to deliver high-quality care to our patients.
I’m Interested! What’s My Next Step?
To determine if you’re a good candidate for laser removal of brown spots or to simply learn more about the procedure, request a consultation.