Pigmented lesions, or melanocytic proliferations to give them their proper name, can be benign or malignant. It is benign pigmented lesions that can be effectively treated by cosmetic surgery. These are often called moles or nevi (birthmarks). The cause of pigmented lesions can vary from patient to patient, however they are more often than not caused by an excessive production of melanin in the skin. Melanin gives skin its colour, and an excessive concentration of it in one area will invariably lead to some discolouration.
Most commonly, moles and nevi develop during the earliest stages of life, and become known at birth, although everybody will develop new moles and nevi throughout their lifetime due to sun exposure, pregnancy and some medications.
Laser treatment is effective for pigmented lesion removal. It works by concentrating a burst of single-wavelength light onto the skin which is well absorbed by skin cells containing excessive concentrations of pigment. This light either lightens the targeted pigmentations or removes them altogether. After several treatments, the level of melanin pigment in the targeted area should be greatly reduced with fading or partial or complete removal.