“Freckles” refer to the light brown spots in irregular shapes that often appear on areas exposed to sunlight. They are hereditary, and develop at a young age, unlike melisma and blemishes. Freckles occur on the face including the cheeks, nose and forehead as well as other parts of the body exposed to the sun such as the back of the hands and the chest area below the neck.
1) Laser treatment and medical skin care
Fotona Laser Toning, GentleMAX Laser and Fraxel Dual Laser, which selectively destroy melanin pigments, can effectively remove freckles. After the laser treatments, receiving continuous vitamin-based whitening care can maximize the effectiveness.
2) Whitening ointment
Hydroquinone, arbutin, kojic acid and vitamin C (using electrophoresis) are the most common types of ointments used to diminish freckles. Applying a whitening ointment after a laser treatment reduces skin pigmentation by inhibiting synthesis of skin pigments.
“Age spot” is not a medical term, and although it is typically used to refer to seborrheic keratosis, it can also refer to black spots (lentigo). Both of these conditions appear due to photoaging caused by prolonged exposure to UV radiation and endogenous skin aging.
Seborrheic keratosis is caused by pigmentation that progresses as the stratum corneum and epidermis thicken, while in the case of black spots, although it appears that pigmentation is occurring, there are no significant changes in the epidermis and it may actually become thinner.
Pigmented lesions occurring due to the aging of the skin appear not only on the face, but also on the neck, back of the hands and arms, and they appear as brown or black spots in irregular shapes.
They are brown spots in curved shapes that can be a few millimeters to a few centimeters long. People typically start to develop them in their 40s or older. There are no special symptoms associated with this condition, but it may be accompanied by itchiness.
Laser treatments targeting melanocytes such as Fotona Laser Toning and GentleMAX, and laser treatments that partially remove the pigmented lesions such as CO2 laser, Long Pulse Erbium-YAG Laser, and Fraxel Dual may be used.
Typically speaking, a “mole” refers to skin pigmentation. Medically speaking, they are called “nevocytic nevus,” where “nevocytic” means that there is a collection of nevocytes. While the exact cause is unknown, it is speculated that moles occur due to hereditary factors or an embryological anomaly in the melanocytes. Moles are difficult to remove, compared to other similar conditions. Also, removing moles can cause damage to the surrounding skin tissue, so it is highly important to determine the method of removal, based on the depth of the mole and its cause. It is advised that you consult a medical specialist and have your mole removed based on a thorough diagnosis.
Moles are removed using laser. The most common laser treatments include Fotona Laser Toninng, eCO2 Laser, and Erbium-YAG Laser.
After a mole removal, you need to wait for the skin to regenerate. Generally speaking, the removal procedure is performed again around 4 weeks to 6 months after the initial procedure, and this varies depending on the treatment depth and skin condition. If the mole still remains a couple of months after treatment, it means that the mole is situated deep inside the skin, or indicates regrowth of the mole, or inflammation in the melanocytes, and a second removal procedure is necessary. In the case of deep moles, it is advised that the removal procedure be performed several times, instead of attempting to remove them all at once, so as to minimize skin irritation.
Nevus of Ota was named after Dr. Ota and Dr. Tanino from Japan who first reported on this condition in 1939.
Normally, melanocytes are situated in the base layer of the epidermis between the epidermis and dermis, but in patients with a nevus of Ota, melanocytes are found deeper in the dermis layer.
Nevi of Ota are divided into the congenital form occurring on one side, and the acquired form which occurs on both sides of the face.
In the case of a congenital nevus of Ota, melanocytes are situated deep inside the skin, and they gradually move toward the surface, with the nevus forming after puberty. The exact cause of this condition is unknown, but it is speculated that it occurs due to an anomaly occurring when the nerves controlling the facial muscles and sensory organs are developing in the fetus. In the case of acquired nevi of Ota occurring on both sides of the face, they frequently occur in women after puberty, and this is why they are often mistaken for melasma.
Treatment of nevi of Ota in the early stages yields faster and more effective results. Nevi of Ota become darker with age, due to the impacts from UV radiation, hormones, fatigue, and seasonal changes. Also, melanocytes lie deeper inside the skin in adults, so treating nevi of Ota in adults is less effective compared to their children. Plus, side effects such as depigmentation are more likely to occur in adults than in children.
Nevi of Ota do not disappear naturally, and they will continue to remain without treatment; thus, they need to be treated in a timely manner using an appropriate method. In the past, surgery, decortication and cryogenic treatments, but such methods resulted in scars and is no longer used. At present, nevi of Ota are treated using Q-switch lasers such as ND-YAG Laser, Fotona Laser Toning and GentleMAX Laser, which can remove nevi of Ota without any side effects as they selectively destroy melanocytes without damaging the surrounding tissues.
Café au lait spots were given this name due to their color. It is a common type of pigmented macules that around 10% of the entire Korean population have. It appears at the time of birth or around one year after birth, and it gradually disappears with age. The spots are light brown and flat, and are in diverse sizes, ranging from the size of one’s pinky nail to a size that’s much bigger than one’s hand.
Fotona Laser Toning or GentleMAX Laser, which selectively removes pigments at certain intervals, is used to remove café au lait spots. In the past, laser treatments were performed at high intensities, but this actually led to stronger pigmentation or hypopigmentation, so nowadays, multiple, lower-intensity laser treatments are performed instead. Although it varies from individual to individual depending on one’s skin characteristics, the condition can be improved with 9 to 10 procedures performed every 4 to 8 weeks. Recurrence can occur occasionally, so treatment must be proceeded until the spots are not visible with the naked eye, and follow-up observations are necessary for a certain period of time.
Tattoo refers to a form of pigmentation that occurs after pigments penetrate deep into the skin (dermis layer). There are two types of tattoos: one is traumatic tattoos that occur due to penetration of soil or graphite into damaged skin, and the other is cosmetic tattoos where the person deliberately colors one’s skin such as eyebrow tattoos or tattoos on the body. There are diverse types of ingredients used to create cosmetic tattoos, and in Korea, more than 90% of cosmetic tattoos are created using black ink. Other colors such as red, blue and yellow are also coming into popular usage today. All of these tattoos are created by inserting pigments deep into the skin (dermis), and they do not disappear.
The treatment period varies depending on the size, color and depth of the tattoo. Generally, after the procedure for removing a tattoo, it takes around 4 to 8 weeks for the destroyed pigment particles from the tattoo are eliminated by the immune system, and for the tissue to fully recover.
Large tattoos with diverse shapes require three procedures or as many as five to six procedures. Cosmetic tattoos, however, can be removed with two to three procedures, as the pigments used are relatively lighter in color.
For removal of tattoos, Fotona Laser Toning or GentleMAX Laser, which selectively destroys melanin pigments, while minimizing damage to the surrounding tissues, can be used. However, the necessary frequency of the procedure and likelihood of side effects depend on the type and depth of the tattoo, so we advise that you receive the removal procedure from a dermatologist with extensive experience.
– The original color will be restored within 2 weeks.
– You can wash your face or take a shower the day after the procedure, and you can carefully apply light makeup after 3 days.
– The color will gradually become lighter over the course of 8 weeks after the treatment procedure, and there may be no noticeable changes immediately after the procedure.