Laser Treatment For Melasma And Dark Spots

Laser Treatment For Melasma And Dark Spots

Laser Treatment for Melasma and dark spots -the differences, benefits and which is better for your skin type.

Are you considering laser treatments for melasma, dark spots or acne scars?

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What is the difference between IPL vs Lasers for hyperpigmentation?

If this is your first time on this blog, we have been focusing on hyperpigmentation for most of this summer. In this blog post, we will be going over some very general differences between laser vs light therapy to treat hyperpigmentation.

***Please note that this post AND this video is for educational purposes and NOT to give you specific advice on treatment. Please see a professional who specializes in these types of treatments for a more specific recommendation.***

Every skin type is different based on:

-previous treatments

-age of the patient

-skin care products being used

-skin tone (Hyperpigmentation: Understanding How it Affects your Skin Type)Hyperpigmentation Treatments for Black Skin (and darker skin types)

-other contraindications such as medical history

This article will hopefully give you a broader understanding and may help you ask better questions at the consultation. Hopefully this will help you and the technician achieve better results .

So although lasers and different light treatments are use for anti aging, rosacea, etc, we are focusing on acne scars, age spots, and melasma.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) Therapy for Melasma and Dark Spots

IPL can be used for many of the same skin conditions as lasers. However, IPL targets multiple wavelengths in the visible light and infrared spectrum where lasers are more direct at one specific wavelength. IPL is also known as photo rejuvenation because of the multiple wavelengths that target chromosphores with a single setting.

Chromosphores is basically the part of the molecule that is responsible for its color.

It delivers less energy than laser. Lasers are more direct. For example, think of a laser pointer vs a small to medium flashlight. IPL is most commonly used to treat hyperpigmentation which is why it is being mentioned today.

It also helps decrease /lessen red blood vessels and help improve the appearance of your skin with no downtime.

IPL can also help with hair reduction, acne, Telangiectasia, sun damage, rosacea and poikiloderma (this is mentioned in the video , “Anti Aging Tips for Neck and Chest”.

IPL is better suited for:

-Fitzpatrick Skin Types 1-3

-Better for epidermal Melasma vs mixed or dermal melasma.

IPL can be administered on the:







IPL Side Effects

-Crusting that lasted 1-2 weeks in duration

-Studies (links below) showed that when IPL was used in conjunction with hydroquinone, the results were better than with just hydroquinone alone.

When topical therapy alone was used, there was a modest reoccurrence rate UNLESS 6-12 months post treatment of aggressive topical therapy was used



Laser stands for :


Amplification by


Emission of


As mentioned previously, laser light is a compact beam with very specific direction.

Laser light are composed of 1 single color or wavelength done with a specific medium such as :





The light energy produced is directed at specific chromospheres or specific target such as:


-Oxyhemoglobin-vascular lesions such as Rosacea/Poikiloderma

-Ink-tatto removal


This is why best results are better achieved when there is a contrast such as dark hair or ink and fair skin. When the light hits the target, it triggers a reaction.

Ruby Laser– originally used for hair reduction now more advanced lasers are being used.

This is currently being use to remove dark pigmentation/tattoos by using high energy pulses.

Nd YAG (Neodymium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet) Laser – This is in the infrared spectrum. This can target BOTH blood and pigment. Some of the benefits of this specific laser targets deeper into the dermis so it can be used as a treatment to stimulate collagen production.

This laser may be better for darker skin types because of the longer wavelengths for:

-hair removal

-deeper blood vessels-varicose veins

-decreases the chance of Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation for Fitzpatrick 4-6


PiQo4 Laser-Safe for all skin types , even darker skin types.

This laser is the latest technology.

It can be used for hyperpigmentation, treats most tattoo removal and little to no down time.

This laser shatters the pigment link that is fast and effective and with fewer treatment times compared to other conventional lasers.

It can also handle large areas of pigmentation.

Most darker skin types are not suitable for darker skin tones. However, this is FDA approved for all skin tones.

If you are considering laser treatment for dark spots, please make sure you do a consultation BEFORE deciding on whether this is for you or not.


Laser Treatment for African American Skin:

I am treating a client for hyperpigmentation and she happens to have dark skin. She went in to have laser hair removal and she was kind enough to show some of her pictures where she was burned under her arms. I informed her to make sure they use the right laser since she was darker skinned and she was burned.

***PRO TIP***

If you decide to do laser treatments for dark spots or melasma, you need to:

-Reduce inflammation

-Avoid fragranced products

-Use the products that have a pH that is conducive to healing the skin.

One product that I consistently have my clients use for post procedures is the Post Recovery Treatment Cream.

This works well if your skins barrier is compromised from acid peels, Retin A, microdermabrasion or laser treatments.

The Post Recovery Treatment Cream :

-Reduces redness and inflammation

-Restores moisture to encourage healing

-creates a favorable pH to speed healing

-fragrance free

-hydrates and moisturizes the skin without clogging the pores

I would also recommends a sunscreen that is MINERAL based (zinc oxide / titanium oxide) because when skin is inflamed, chemical sunscreens can sensitize the skin. I would also recommend a sunscreen that has plant based lighteners to inhibit Tyrosinase which prevents the melanin from turning brown.

Sunscreen great for hyperpigmentation

If you are considering laser treatments or have had it done, please share in the comments below, what type of laser treatment you used, what your Fitzpatrick type is, and what were the results.


Make up is an ART


Skin Care is a SCIENCE

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