Laser resurfacing as a treatment for hyper pigmentation is providing successful results for many people. The laser treatment can be uncomfortable for people with a two-week recovery period after the treatment. Despite the pain of recovery, laser therapy is gaining popularity for treating hyperpigmentation.
Not all skin types are suitable for laser resurfacing for the treatment of hyper pigmentation. There are six skin types, according to the Fitzpatrick skin classification system. These skin types range from very fair skin to very dark skin.
It is not just coloring that determines a person's skin type. The different skin types are categorized according to the person's coloring and their reaction to sun exposure. The degree to which a person burns is an important consideration to determining skin type.
Of the six skin type categories... only the first four skin types are suitable for laser treatment for hyper pigmentation. The person with very fair skin who never tans and always burns has the first skin type. The second skin type is fair skin that will sometimes tan but mostly burns. The third skin type is medium in color and always tans with occasional sunburn episodes. The fourth category is olive skin, which tans and rarely burns.
The two skin types that do not have such successful results from laser treatment are the fifth and sixth skin type. The fifth skin type has brown skin, which always tans and does not burn. The sixth skin type has black skin that always tans and does not burn. Unwanted changes to skin color can occur if these two skin types receive laser treatment.
Other factors that may pre-determine the suitability of a person to be treated successfully by laser treatment include how a person heals from a wound or the presence of any pre-existing skin conditions, such as scleroderma, which is a thickened skin condition. If a person develops a ketoid formation from wounds, this person would not be a good candidate for laser treatments.
There are other diseases, which can cause problems for recovery from laser treatment. Patients with collagen vascular diseases and immunological conditions are not eligible for laser treatment since these types of conditions affect the healing process for the skin. The presence of diabetes mellitus, impetigo or herpes will negatively affect a person's eligibility for laser treatment.
Acne medication can influence the outcome of laser treatment. The use of isotretinoin, contained in the popular acne medication with the brand name Accutane, can interfere with regeneration of skin cells after laser treatment. Doctors will prefer that laser treatment candidates stop using isotretinoin from anywhere from six months to one year before receiving a laser treatment for hyper pigmentation. If a person is pregnant, the doctor will recommend waiting until the pregnancy is over before starting laser treatment.
Laser treatment for hyperpigmentation has been successful for many patients, who have the eligible skin types. There is a certain amount of risk for the first four skin types including small cysts at the treatment site, reduced skin coloring, more hyper pigmentation and scarring. Like any other medical treatment, careful consideration must be made before undergoing the treatment and all risks should be weighed carefully. If a person is prepared for the risks, including permanent scarring, then that person should find a doctor with much success and experience with laser treatment for hyper pigmentation.
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