What are pigmented marks / Skin pigmentation?
Pigmented marks are brown marks or lesions on the skin, which are sometimes present at birth. They are caused by an excess of melanin, the skins natural tanning pigment.
There are different types of pigmented marks:
• Café-au-lait birthmarks: These are flat, light brown, coffee-coloured marks that are usually present at birth or develop soon afterwards.
• Naevus spilus: These are similar to café-au-lait marks but have freckles within them.
• Becker’s naevus: This is a brown patch that usually appears around puberty. They are more common in boys and usually appear on the shoulder and can spread across the upper back and chest. Most will develop coarse dark hairs (hypertrichosis).
• Naevus of Ota: This is a pigmented mark on the face which appears blue, black or grey in colour. They are more common in Asian populations and women. Naevus of Ota are usually located on one side of the face and maycause the eye to become discoloured.
• Sun / Age Spots : Age spots are usually brown and are sometimes called liver spots, although they don’t actually have anything to do with the liver. A more fitting name would be sun spots as they are usually caused by sun exposure over many years.
Brown age spots usually fade well with Qswitched NdYAG laser treatment. However, it is important to check that a brown patch is benign before any laser treatment can start. If your age spot is growing rapidly or has any lumps or black spots within it you should see your GP first. In some cases you may need to see a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon for a special examination.
What are the benefits of laser treatment for skin pigmentation / pigmented marks?
The benefit of laser treatment for pigmented marks is that it can lighten the appearance of the mark over time. This can help some people to feel less self-conscious about the mark and more confident.