If you have melasma (dark patches) or another skin pigmentation issue, green toning is one of the newest, safest and most effective ways to deal with it.
Green toning is a form of non-ablative skin rejuvenation which utilizes our medical grade Q-Switch Nd:YAG 1064nm and KTP 532nm lasers. The energy levels used are low yet the laser is able to penetrate deep into the skin to heat the dermal layer. This forms elastin and breaks down pigmentation without harming the skin’s cells. The body then removes these broken down particles through its immune system’s natural drainage process.
What is melasma?
Melasma, or dark patches, is a type of pigmentation stimulated by oestrogen. It can be hereditary, be due to your hormones, occur during pregnancy or may be caused by exposure to the sun or by medication such as the contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy. Some people also have naturally high levels of oestrogen. Melasma can be tricky to treat and because there is no known cure most patients normally require ongoing management of the issue to make it less pronounced.
Melasma affects all skin types and tones and is typically a darker than normal patch of pigmentation found on the cheeks, forehead, nose or top lip.
What do I need to know about green toning?
- After a low level green toning procedure your skin will be slightly red for a couple of hours however this will disappear very quickly. For stronger treatments you may experience some scabbing or flaking although we prefer to use less aggressive laser settings. You will not experience any discomfort after the treatment.
- Anesthetic is not needed for low energy green toning however you will be able to feel the treatment. The sensation is a lot like pins and needles although to keep this to an absolute minimum our cooling device blows chilled air on to your skin whilst we undertake the treatment.
- Depending on how strong your skin discolouration is, the amount of sessions required will vary. Normally 3 to 4 treatments will be scheduled, with one session per month. After this we will assess your melasma’s response to the treatment and schedule more sessions if required, or scale back to maintenance sessions.
- We recommend that you also apply a topical lightening cream when undertaking green toning as this will control the cells that produce the melanin that creates the dark patches.
- Adverse side effects with green toning are extremely rare but can include a loss of skin colour in the treated area (hypopigmentation), a brown mark that may take a few months to fade (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), redness that may take a little longer than usual to dissipate and a bacterial infection (lasers can potentially cause a viral infection in the minute wound created in the skin, so do let us know if you’re prone to cold sores or similar issues). Scarring is also very rare although it can infrequently occur in darker skin.
- For strong, or deep seated melasma we can combine green toning with fractional laser treatment. This will normally take place over 2 to 3 sessions and you may experience a few days of downtime.
Melasma is a incurable skin condition however if it’s blighting your life green toning can provide a very real relief and a distinct difference in your skin tone. At Perth Skin & Laser our initial treatments and ongoing maintenance treatments will help you lessen and manage your melasma and unlock the confidence that’s been hiding deep within.