Pigmented lesions are marks that appear darker than the surrounding skin. These marks have high concentrations of the skin pigment called melanin. Pigmented lesions can be as harmless as a freckle or as dangerous as melanoma. While any new or unusual dark lesion should be evaluated by a physician, fortunately most pigmented lesions are not cancerous. Instead, they are simply unattractive areas that most of us wish we could be rid of.
The most common pigmented lesions are called age spots or liver spots. These flat, dark areas accumulate over time as skin ages. Age spots tend to accumulate faster in people who spend a lot of time in the sun or used tanning beds. Indeed, age spots are one of the consequences of sun-damaged skin.
Another type of pigmented lesion is called lentigo. Simple lentigines (the plural of lentigo) occur during childhood or as a sign of some other condition. Solar lentigines, as the name implies, are caused by the sun’s rays. Regardless of the type, a lentigo is a benign pigmented lesion and is therefore not harmful. That said, lentigines are often cosmetically unappealing.
Other benign pigmented lesions include Café-au-lait spots, Becker nevi, and dermal melanocytoses. These marks can be quite widespread, quite large, and in the case of a Becker nevus, quite dark. About half of all Becker nevi grow substantial amounts of hair, regardless of their location on the body.
Fortunately, laser light energy can minimize or eliminate benign pigmented lesions. The Bella Sana medical spa uses the Cutera XEO cosmetic laser system. This platform includes the LimeLight™ Handpiece, which is specialized to treat pigmented lesions. Cutera XEO’s built-in cooling system provides cooling comfort during the procedure. This cooling system takes the pain out of laser skin treatments.
Laser treatment for most pigmented lesions is fast, safe, and effective. Small areas with simple lesions can be treated without using anesthesia—patients report that it feels like a rubber band snapping on the skin. Deeper and larger pigmented lesions often require more intense and longer laser treatments. In these cases, local anesthesia may be used. In any case, patients can return home the same day.
If you would like to learn about laser treatment options for pigmented lesions including the Cutera XEO LimeLight™ system, contact the professionals at Bella Sana for a consultation.
Bella Sana Medical Spa is located in Des Plaines, IL, which is a 15-minute drive from downtown Chicago and only 5 minutes from Mt Prospect, Park Ridge, Niles, Elk Grove Village and Glenview.