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That is an excellent question. By laser toning, I think you are referring to the popular Qswitched Nd-Yag 1064nm laser? The answer may surprise you, but the recommended interval described in most Western clinical studies is monthly.
However, as the Asian skin type is darker, there are some doctors who employ a “lower energy” treatment approach for better safety, and a narrower treatment interval. The shortest interval between Qswitched 1064nm toning I have found in published studies for Asian skin types is two weeks (Treatment of Melasma with the Photoacoustic Twin Pulse Mode of Low-Fluence 1064nm Q-Switched Nd:YAG Laser). This is in-line with my own practice, I never ask patients to come back sooner than 2 weeks.
Lasers are not a toy and should be treated with respect by using proper protocols designed by dermatologists and aesthetic physicians. I would avoid places who recommend lasers at an interval more frequent than 2 weeks. Some local famous business oriented clinic chains even recommend daily toning routines, which do more harm to the skin than provide benefit.
For your interest, there are also other forms of laser toning, including long pulse green toning (shown to improve melasma beyond standard 1064nm Qswitch) as well as long-pulse 1064nm toning (for wrinkles and skin rejuvenation). I use a mixture of all these in my practice to achieve better results.
Hope this helps!
Thank you for your question! At my clinic, we will first have a detailed assessment to determine the different skin issues faced and the best interval between the treatments. For deeper pigmentation like melasma, I still favour laser toning at a lower energy level, around a 2 week interval, for better results and safety.
It will be best for you to discuss the treatment plan with your doctor as each individual’s condition is different 🙂
Hope this helps!
Dr Rachel Lim
Ardmore Aesthetic Clinic
Dr Cheng Yu has given a great answer!
Trisya, in my own practice I tend to limit the patients to 3-4 weekly sessions for laser toning for pigmentation. In selected cases of melasma, I ask the patients to do toning every 2 weeks, albeit at a lower fluence/energy setting which I find works better at reducing the risk of pigment cell (melanocyte) activation.
Different strokes for different folks, so I would probably suggest you discuss with your doctor on the plan.
Wishing you the best!
Dr Winston Lee
South Bridge Aesthetics Clinic