Freckle removal on the body is performed with our sciton BBL laser /IPL.
PROCEDURE FOR FRECKLE REMOVAL BODY
1. Consultation +/- test patch
Patient is to arrive with no makeup and no history of use of self tan/ spray tan for at least 2 weeks
The doctor will take a history
A. skin type and tanning
B. previous treatments and their success, complications etc
C. discussion of desired outcome
D. Assess risk of PIH
Doctor will examine the patient
Doctor will recommend test patching. If the patient is Fitzpatrick 1-2 (fair skinned) then they can go ahead with the test patch on the day. If they are darker skin toned or at risk for PIH (Post inflammatory Pigmentation) then they will be advised to use topical lightening agents for 8 weeks prior to treatment. These topical agents are sold at our clinic.
Photographs will be taken
There is opportunity to ask the doctor questions about the procedure
Consent form will be given to the patient with a discussion of risks, benefits, pros and cons of the treatment. If the patient signs the consent form, the procedure will go ahead.
The test patch
The patient will lie on the examination couch with protective goggles over their eyes.
Gel will be used on the skin of the as the laser is used. With full body freckle removal, the test patches will be performed typically in small areas on the lower legs, thighs, abdo, back forearms, upper arms chest, neck, upper and lower back and face if required. Immediately after treatment, the skin in the test patched area may be red and feel a little sunburnt.
Immediately after the test patch
A sunburn-like feeling is common after treatment. This is normal
Sunscreen or makeup may be applied immediately after the treatment to the treated area.
The patient may purchase a soothing gel for post laser care.
At Home aftercare of the test patch
Use the soothing gel regularly on the area.
Keep the area out of the sun.
Avoid acid or anti-aging skin products on the area for 3-6 weeks depending on area treated
Please contact Dr if there is any blistering after the treatment. This is not normal and means that the power was too high. This requires treatment.
What you should see on the skin after the treatment
Day 1 there may be redness in the test patch area and darkening of the freckles
over the next few days the redness will reduce and the freckles will darken. Over the next few weeks the freckles will start to lift/ crumble revealing beautiful fresh freckle free skin underneath.
The healing time differs between body parts after freckle removal. Typical healing times are given below:
face 7-9 days
Neck 9-12 days
chest 12-16 days
back 2-3 weeks
abdo 2-3 weeks
arms 3-4 weeks
legs 4-6 weeks
3-6 weeks later. Review appointment with the doctor
Your test patch results will be reviewed with the doctor. If it fits in with the patient’s life, the full treatment can be performed on this day.
As the photos, consent and history taking have all been done already then the full treatment can go ahead straight away. The appointment is 30 minutes.
The patient will lay on the treatment bed
Goggles will be worn by the patient to protect the eyes
Clear ultrasound gel will be applied to the area.
One pass over the body area will be performed, with multiple pulses of the laser required during this full pass. The procedure is painful, but most patients tolerate it very well. I do not like to use any form of anaesthetic when removing freckles and pigmentation (except when using a fractional laser) as I really need to know that I am not causing excessive damage to the skin. If I use a topical anaesthetic, then the patient is not able to give me this important information, and this could lead to side effects including hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation or scarring. Typically patients will describe the pain as a 7/10.
After the treatment, the ultrasound gel is gently cleaned off the skin.
Immediately after the treatment
The patient will feel a strong sunburn-like feeling over the treated area.
The treated area will be red and the freckles will be darker than previously
It is fine to apply sunscreen or makeup immediately after the sciton BBL treatment.
At home care after sciton BBL
The sunburn-like feeling will last several hours and then nearly disappear. It will commonly be brought on again by showering.
If the arms are treated, wetting a long sleeved shirt to wear afterwards is a very useful tip
On the drive home, it is great to have your car air-con nice and high.
Sun should be avoided. Be aware that while driving one is exposed to the sun
Sunscreen should be applied every morning and reapplied as often as is practical
Soothing gel may be purchased from the clinic and used twice daily.
Do not use acid or antiaging face products for 2 weeks after treatment.
If you are at risk of PIH, the doctor will have given you instructions to buy some corticosteroid from the chemist to reduce the inflammation and lower your risk of PIH. This should be used for 7 days, twice daily. You should start your lightening agent again at the time advised by your doctor
What should you expect to see on your skin after body BBL freckle removal?
The redness will improve in the next few hours-days after the BBL treatment.
The freckles will darken over the first few days
Depending on which part of the body was treated the freckles will lift and start to crumble away revealing the clear, freckle-free skin you have always wanted!!
See healing times above.
Treatment 2 (of the same skin area)
Treatment 2 will be at a minimum of from 3 weeks to 6 weeks after treatment 1, depending on the body area treated.
Treatment 2 will proceed exactly as treatment 1. Also the second treatment will mostly bring up fewer and lighter freckles than treatment 1, because treatment 1 should have lifted up most of the pigment.
After 2 treatments
95% of patients will be delighted after 2 treatments of freckle removal with sciton BBL. The 5% who are not should have a 3rd treatment
If performing full body freckle removal
When performing full body freckle removal, each patient will have a different “plan of attack”. When deciding on that person’s particular “plan of attack” we need to take account of the following factors:
Which areas of freckles the patient wants removed more urgently
The timing of different areas, eg the forearms may be best to treat when they can be covered with sleeves, if the patient does not want others to see that they are having the treatment.
How quickly the patient wants the whole procedure to be complete.
The healing time of each different area in that patient.
So after discussion with the patient about these factors, a plan can be decided upon, and then revised as required, as we get to know that patient’s healing times etc.
* Redness: nearly always occurs, should resolve within a few days
* Swelling: In the body this can occur especially in the upper limbs after Sciton BBL. We prefer to only treat half arms due to this complication. The swelling can be very uncomfortable, and movement can be restricted.
* PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) ie the laser can cause areas of brown pigmentation due to inflammation and the patient’s susceptibility to this. It is less common in the lighter skin tones.
Patients who are at risk for this are treated very differently to those who aren’t. Prevention is important, ie prelightening is important, and steroids may be necessary after the treatment.
* Blistering: This is very uncommon, especially if the patient has had test patching at a certain power. If this occurs, the patient needs to call the doctor urgently.
* Infection: Very uncommon. Usually associated with broken skin eg blisters. The patient will notice a combination of redness, tenderness, swelling, pain and pus in an affected area. This is a very serious complication and needs to be treated immediately. The doctor should be contacted even if it is a night or a weekend. DO NOT PUT TREATMENT OF INFECTION OFF. Antibiotics are required, I typically use Cephalexin 500mg 4 times daily, with 1 repeat.
* Hypopigmentation/scarring: This is very uncommon, but possible if too high powers are used.
* Recurrence of freckles after removal: This is not common on the body, the important fact about this though, is that the past sun damage will continue to occur, so it may not be due to sun that is seen after the laser treatment, but due to the sun damage of the past appearing. I do find that after years, patients will return for a top up, but that it never goes back to the original freckled appearance, more so that the patient “raises the bar” for their skin and wants their skin to be even better than after the original treatment
# before and after photos
# photos of complications