I have hyperpigmentation on my face and there’s really only one way to entirely get rid of it in one quick wave of a laser wand called Lumeca. The type of hyperpigmentation I have is called Melasma, which people show signs of for all different kinds of reasons from heat sensitivity to fluctuating hormones during pregnancy. Any type of hyperpigmentation is a pain in the butt because the brown spotting or discoloration that appears can be very aggressive and challenging to remove, lighten or even cover up with makeup. Lumeca is a treatment I get once a year in the fall to zap it all off, and to even out my skin tone.
I recently received a Lumeca treatment and since I’m currently in the thick of it with my face still healing, I thought I’d take advantage of describing the process in case it’s something you’re considering or feel that you may need.
First off, what are the results? I should be honest and say that it varies by person. On me, I’ve had wonderful luck because my Melasma is dark enough and large enough to be identified by Lumeca’s photo laser technology (which is likened to IPL in case you’ve tried this before). Considering the level of my Melasma, I’m a good candidate for Lumeca and pretty much all of it is removed in 1 yearly treatment. My results last until mid-summer, which is about 7-8 months. My condition is specifically sun exposure and heat sensitivity triggered. It’s also very common for people with olive skin and of Latino heritage to have Melasma. I’m not a doctor or dermatologist but living with Melasma you learn a lot about what makes your Melasma worsen and why you have it. I recommend seeing a dermatologist to full evaluate your specific hyperpigmentation, because in some scenarios laser is NOT the best course of action. So, while I am recommending Lumeca here in this blog post, take heed that you need to be seen by a professional first and make sure to inquire whether they think Lumeca could be a good option for you.
Just want to get this off my chest... I have always treated my hyperpigmentation because I don’t like the way it looks. I am bursting with self-love but I have no problem admitting that I love seeing an even skin tone on my face and prefer not to have huge brown patches on my cheeks, under-eyes, temples, upper lip and nose. Lumeca was presented to me by my skin practitioner Lisa Hartman at Soignez-Vous in NYC as a way to remove most of these spots during a time that is environmentally safer for my skin (i.e. not too hot or sunny, since these are my triggers).
Here's what happens during treatment: When you get a Lumeca treatment, your face is numbed for about an hour. You will not be able to feel your face if it is properly numbed. Unfortunately you’ll still feel the laser when treated but the pain is far less than without the numbing. The treatment feels like small repetitive shocks with a burn sensation at the end. You might even smell skin burning, but not to worry, all laser treatments smell this way when interacting with your skin. The treatment lasts about 10 minutes and you’ll be very red afterwards. Your face burns but the redness and stinging goes completely away in about 2 hours. Your practitioner should offer you an cold pack to ice your face with before leaving and will instruct you to do so for the remainder of the day. Your practitioner might also do a vinegar soak on you while in-office before you leave. Otherwise do them at home yourself. This helps speed up the shedding of the dark spots that eventually will slough off naturally. Be prepared for your hyperpigmentation areas to darken post-treatment and look like black markings on your face. Just let it be! Don’t pick at it or try to exfoliate off. It’ll eventually all come off in about 2 weeks time, leaving you with beautiful even skin in those treated areas. At the very least your dark spots will be dramatically lighter.
I love Lumeca because of how well it works with reliable results that make the investment an easy choice. This treatment runs $1000+ per area. Areas besides the face can be treated. I actually had a dark spot from a mole removal treated. In the past I’ve had other laser treatments like Clear & Brilliant for my condition, which worked nicely on minimizing my Melasma for a short time. I will continue to do Lumeca instead of these other laser treatments because Lumeca provides better and longer lasting results to remove the hyperpigmentation. The other lasers were nice, less expensive and provided additional anti-aging and firming benefits, but in my opinion are just not as effective for eliminating Melasma and controlling it's return.
I hope my pictures and videos provide you with a good foundation understanding of what Lumeca is. The best way to determine if it’s for you is to see your dermatologist or skin consultant, do more research on Lumeca here, and consider your options. My advice is never to rush into laser, and to make sure whoever is doing your laser treatment is certified and experienced to use laser because it’s a very powerful technology that can be skin damaging in the wrong hands. Please leave any questions or comments you have below. Thanks!