Moles are small lesions in the skin. They are a collection of melanocytes. Melanocytes are melanin-producing cells. Melanin is a pigment which gives skin its color.
Moles are usually brownish, but some may be much darker, while others are skin-colored. They can be rough, flat, raised, and have hair growing out of them. They are generally round or oval, and have a smooth edge.
The majority of moles appear during the first 20-30 years of a person’s life, however, some may be present when the baby is born. Congenital melanocytic nevi are present at birth, any moles appearing after birth are melanocytic nevi. Dark skinned people generally have fewer moles than those with fair skin.
A cosmetic procedure that aims to lighten dark areas of skin or achieve a generally paler skin tone.
It’s usually used to improve the appearance of blemishes such as birthmarks and dark patches (melasma).
Skin-lightening procedures work by reducing the concentration or production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its colour and helps protect it from the sun.
laser skin lightening
A laser can also be used to lighten blemishes or dark patches of skin. This works by either removing the outer layer of skin or damaging the cells that produce melanin.
Laser skin lightening may work for some people, while for others it may not have any effect, or the skin lightening may only be temporary.
2. What it involves
Before the procedure starts, a test may be done on a small area of skin to see how it reacts. If you do not have any problems, you’ll usually have your first session a few weeks later.
You may get a stinging or pricking sensation during the procedure, so a local anaesthetic cream may be used to numb your skin beforehand.
During a session:
- you’ll be given special goggles to wear to protect your eyes from the laser
- a small hand held laser device will be held against your skin – this may feel like a rubber band snapping against your skin
- a jet of cold air may be blown onto your skin to keep it cool during the treatment
- Each session will usually last around 30 minutes to an hour. You can go home when it’s finished.
It can take a 1 to 2 weeks for your skin to recover from laser skin lightening. You may want to take a few days off work until your skin’s appearance starts to improve.
It is common for skin to be red and swollen for a few days afterwards, and it may be bruised or crusty for 1 to 2 weeks.
Over the next few weeks, your skin should start to fade to a lighter colour. It will be sensitive to the sun for up to 6 months.
4. Side Effect
- redness and swelling
These effects usually pass after 1 to 2 weeks.
What could go wrong
Serious complications of laser treatment are generally uncommon, but can include:
- skin infection
- the skin turning darker or too light
You should be told how likely these complications are, and what could be done about them if they happen.