Where pigmentary disorders are concerned, the LASER is able to successfully reduce pigment deposits in the upper layers of the skin or epidermis. It is unable to; however, treat the underlying cells responsible for producing pigment.
Pigmentation is an inflammatory response which occurs as the epidermal-dermal junction, a result of heat, mechanical, or light injury. Melanosomes in the cells located here detect this injury or threat and produce melanin or pigment, in an attempt to protect the skin. Once this pigment is deposited into the skin cells, it travels to the surface of the skin or epidermis as the skin cells turnover. Here is where the LASER is able to successfully treat, not the cells responsible for the cause.
However, provided a high UVA, UVB sun protector such as the Obagi Sunsield SPF50 and topical vitamin C such as Obagi Professional C serum or Clarifying serum is used alongside the LASER treatment, results will be long lasting with the occasional top up session every other year, depending on sun exposure. Vitamin C inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase within the pigmentation pathway thereby decreasing melanin formation. Arbutin or Hydroquinone contained within the Clarifying serum also inhibits tyrosinase activity.