Bothered by Discolored Skin? Consider Laser Therapy

It’s common to have spots on your skin. Ranging from tiny freckles to blotchy redness and large patches of brown, skin discolorations may seem like a mere cosmetic concern, but if they cause you to lose confidence and feel embarrassed in social and professional settings, they can affect your mental health as well.

You don’t have to live with pigmentation problems of any color or size. Dr. Michael Macdonald at Aesthetic Surgery Center in San Francisco, California, helps patients throughout the Bay Area even out their skin tone and even reverse some of the signs of aging with scientifically proven broadband laser therapy.

What’s causing your pigmentation problems?

The coloring — and discoloring — of your skin is a matter of melanin. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes, and although people generally have the same number of melanocyte cells, some cells are more productive than others. 

The more melanin they create, the darker your skin, hair, and eyes are. If your cells produce very little melanin, you’re likely to have blue, green, or gray eyes and light skin and hair. 

So other than being born with cells that either crank out melanin in a vast supply or mete it out sparingly, what else can affect the color of your skin? Here are some of the culprits.


Exposure to the sun’s UV rays accelerates the production of melanin in your skin. This is the concept behind tanning. The melanocyte cells go into overdrive and darken your skin.

Ironically, this process is meant to protect you from the harmful effects of those UV rays, but once you darken or burn your skin, those defenses are weakened. That’s why it’s important to use a broad spectrum sunscreen at all times.


As the years go by, even if you’ve tried to be diligent about sun protection, your skin begins to show signs of sun exposure. Although they’re commonly called age spots, the only real connection these flat, brown lesions have to age is simply a matter of time in the sun.

So younger people who spend a lot of time outdoors can get “age” spots, too, but may call them “sun spots.” Either way, the cause is a clumping of melanin in one place that appears as a spot on your skin. 


Birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or pregnancy can lead to a condition called melasma, where you get patches of brown or gray on your skin. It typically shows up on your face, but it can also affect your neck, arms, and shoulders. Sun exposure can exacerbate the condition.


Although technically not a melanin malfunction, another pigmentation problem happens when veins and capillaries close to the surface of your skin become visible. Rosacea is a classic example of the ruddy complexion that comes from inflamed blood vessels that show through the surface. Rosacea also comes with complications of pimples, roughness, and thickening skin.

How BBL laser technology tackles pigmentation problems

Pigmentation problems occur at the molecular level, so the only thing that can correct them has to address the issues molecularly. That’s why creams and ointments may lighten the surface of your skin but don’t solve the problem. Lasers, on the other hand, were born for this job.

Phototherapy is an aesthetic procedure that expertly addresses your skin’s pigmentation problems. Dr. Macdonald trusts the most advanced technology, the gold standard in the industry — Forever Young BBL™ by Sciton®️

Painless, noninvasive laser therapy penetrates the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis) and the middle layer (the dermis) where the melanocytes live. Depending on the pigmentation issue you’re trying to solve, Dr. Macdonald precisely targets clumps of melanin or red blood vessels at various depths.

The handheld device emits invisible rays of light. The light’s energy heats up your skin cells and changes the gene expression, the process of your DNA producing certain proteins. The laser causes a reaction within the molecules and transforms older, damaged cells to take on the characteristics of younger cells. 

Patches of melanin break up and flush away, clearing your skin of age spots, sun spots, and melasma. It also targets tiny blood vessels and closes them off so blood flow is redirected to healthier veins. Our innovative BBL therapy renews your skin cells deep within your skin, clearing away unsightly discolorations.

You see the results of your Forever Young BBL treatment in about two weeks, and the effects keep getting better in the following months. With booster treatments a couple of times a year, you can look forward to younger-looking skin for years to come.

To find out more about getting rid of your discolored skin, check out our FAQ page, or call or click to schedule an appointment with Dr. Macdonald.

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