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Healthcare: Dermatology

Laser Treatment of Brown Spots

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Lasers and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) machines have a unique ability to specifically target pigment in the skin. This property allows for safe, effective and rapid treatment of unsightly skin lesions that have brown pigment. Not all "brown spots" respond the same. Most people have lentigines, also known as liver spots or age spots. These flat brown marks in areas of sun exposure are very effectively removed. The response of other skin lesions is variable, depending on the diagnosis. Sunblock before and after treatment is recommended.

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Three options are available through Baylor Medicine Dermatology

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Lumenis Ultrapulse Encore
Pros: Also improves wrinkles, skin texture, precancers, scars and tightens skin.
Cons: More expensive per treatment. More downtime. Can have prolonged redness.

Fraxel Laser
Pros: Also improves wrinkles, skin texture, precancers, melasma and scars. Less downtime and risk vs Ultrapulse. Less expensive per session. Minimal downtime.
Cons: Expect 1 to 3 treatments for brown spots and 4 to 6 treatments for scars.

Lumenis One IPL
Pros: Also improves redness and to some degree will smooth skin texture. Least downtime. Least expensive per treatment.
Cons: 1 to 2 sessions typically needed for brown spots. 3 to 4 treatments typically needed for redness/vessels (though both can be stubborn, and we will sometimes switch to a different machine). Some stubborn brown spots required Fraxel or Ultrapulse to respond.