Call for Best Price


Pigmented lesions often involve melanin (brown pigment), resulting in small or large areas of the skin appearing brown, black, or even blue. Although most often benign (harmless), pigmented lesions can also be malignant (cancerous) in some cases.

Benign pigmented lesions can take several different forms, including:


Freckles are minor flat brown marks arising on the face and other sun-exposed areas. They are most often seen in fair-skinned people, but they are an inherited characteristic that sometimes affects darker skin types. As the person ages, this type of freckle generally becomes more noticeable. It can be lightened by avoiding sun exposure and with the regular use of sunblocks and whitening creams.

They can be safely removed by intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) or pigment laser therapy. We do not offer laser therapy or IPL at present. Still, we can suggest an experienced cosmetic dermatologist/ surgeon who would help you if the above methods are ineffective.


More prominent flat brown spots on the face and hands in middle age also result from sun damage exposure. Commonly known as age spots or liver spots, the correct term for a single lesion is solar lentigo (plural lentigines). Lentigines are due to the localized proliferation of melanocytes. It is essential to distinguish the harmless solar lentigo, which does not turn cancerous, from an early malignant melanoma (skin cancer).

Similarly, they can be lightened by avoiding sun exposure and with the regular use of sunblocks and whitening creams. They can also be safely removed by intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) or pigment laser therapy. We do not offer laser therapy or IPL at present. Still, we can suggest an experienced cosmetic dermatologist/surgeon who would help you if the above methods are ineffective.


It appears as a light or dark brown skin discoloration. Melasma can affect anyone, although it is more common in women.


More common in darker-skinned people, resulting from an injury that stimulates increased melanin production.


Seborrhoeic keratosis is superficial skin overgrowth that is brown and slightly raised. Seborrhoeic keratosis is due to aging and sun exposure. Seborrhoeic keratosis can be seen on the face as well as the sun-exposed areas as the limbs. They do not transform into skin cancer. Treatment includes liquid nitrogen and electrocautery.


Skin tags are skin-colored or brown growths that commonly occur on the neck, underarms, and face. They are harmless and do not transform into skin cancer. Skin tags are easily removed by snip-excision and electrocautery.


Moles are due to abnormal collections of pigment cells (melanocytes) in the skin. They occur in childhood, adolescents, and early adulthood. Most moles are dark and pigmented. Moles are small, flat, and pigmented when they appear but with aging, they become raised, dome-shaped, and often appear lighter. Moles that develop irregular borders, bleeding, or sudden increase in size cause concern, and a dermatologist should be consulted early.

Small flat moles can be treated with a laser, while bigger ones should be excised.


Brown spots on the face, chest, hands, and arms are a common sign of aging. Our Gentle Max Pro Laser treats flat benign pigmented lesions quickly and effectively on lighter skin types in 2-3 sessions spaced four weeks apart. We recommend using sunscreen before and after treatment. See our Mole Removal page or CO2 laser page for treatment options if you have elevated brown spots.

The acronym LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. At their core, lasers use electromagnetic radiation to excite electrons, causing the electrons to emit photons during the return from their excited state back to a resting state. The energy produced in the form of light travels along a wavelength. Wavelengths that fall within the visible spectrum lie between 400 and 700 nanometers, but various lasers travel on wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that live outside of the visible spectrum.  

Benign Pigmented Lesion Laser Treatment of benign & pigmented lesions works by destroying the pigment in the skin without excision. This process is completed in three simple steps:

  • Step 1: Light Absorption: The laser produces short nanosecond pulses of intense light that pass harmlessly through the top layers of the skin to be selectively absorbed by the melanin pigment in the lesion.
  • Step 2: Pigment Break-Up: The laser light is transformed into photoacoustic waves which mechanically break up the melanin pigment into smaller particles.
  • Step 3: Pigment Removal: These particles are then removed by the body’s own immune system, as the skin’s macro-phages clear the excess pigment from the area.

See our FAQ below. Contact Us with any other questions.



Laser treatments can reduce hyperpigmentation, with the newest lasers now being safe to use on darker skin, which wasn’t the case only a few years ago. There are several different kinds of lasers used to treat hyperpigmentation.

Benign Pigmented Lesion Laser Treatment can last for several years, after which the pigmentation issues will return. Laser-based treatments can last for one to four years or more, while other treatments can last for several months to one year.

Immediately post-treatment, you can expect to see some mild redness. You may also see some of your pigmentation spots (freckles) turn darker. Pigmentation spots are normal, and the pigment naturally sheds off the skin’s surface within seven to 14 days, depending on your skin cell turnover.

People usually prefer undergoing laser treatment for pigmentation because it’s a permanent solution. Alexandrite 755nm is a kind of laser treatment for pigmentation removal, which is a quick, gentle, and non-invasive treatment.

The risk with all types of laser treatments is causing further damage and making melasma worse. With extended heat-based lasers, there is a chance of exacerbating skin issues, so while treatment may remove melasma, it can also lead to other unsightly blemishes in the future.

Types of hyperpigmentation include age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is a harmless skin condition that people can get rid of using removal techniques such as cosmetic treatments, creams, and home remedies.

One of the classic methods for removing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from lasers is chemical peels. There are various types and strengths of chemical peels, from trichloroacetic (TCA) and salicylic acid to glycolic acid to treat PIH.

We recommend that our clients receive 2-3 treatments spaced over a 3 week period for optimal results. In saying that, laser pigmentation removal is very much an individual process and will depend on your level of pigmentation.

In this case, turning to dermatological procedures will work as the fastest way to eliminate hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels, laser therapy, microdermabrasion, or dermabrasion are all options that work similarly to rid skin of hyperpigmentation.

Laser pigmentation removal works by eliminating pigment on the skin’s surface through the body’s lymphatic system. Your pigmentation may darken, lighten, fade, or even appear to have no change immediately post-treatment. On average, it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to process the pigment.


  • 5 star review  Positive: Cleanliness ,  Professionalism ,  Punctuality Easy to book online. Seamless appointment and did not feel rushed. Tonya explained thoroughly and made sure i had the best results for botox and minimizing my frown line. Highly recommend!

    thumb Karen
    September 20, 2021

    5 star review  Positive: Cleanliness ,  Professionalism ,  Punctuality ,  Quality ,  Value Getting botox at Sandia Skin & Face was the best decision I've ever made. No more lines on my forehead 🙂

    thumb Melissa Kibler
    September 4, 2021

    5 star review  How amazing! I can’t believe what Tonya has done for me! She took excellent care of me! My first time ever for Botox and Lip Filler. I’m 58 feeling like 30 again! Everyone deserves this! I will be back! My crows are gone. My lipstick goes on smooth with no bleeds. You are totally amazing Tonya! Thank you again ! Tonya was so professional and went over everything in detail with me! Totally amazing place! Treat yourself! We all deserve to look great and feel great! ❤️

    thumb Paula Winters
    April 4, 2021
  • 5 star review  I recently relocated from CA. I was nervous to find a new place for lip fillers after going to the same person for several years. Tonya was absolutely amazing! She is extremely knowledgeable and instantly made me feel comfortable. Tonya exceeded my expectations. I’ve received so many compliments from friends and family. The entire staff were friendly and professional. I will definitely become a loyal client. Thank you Tonya and team!!!

    thumb treesem
    May 4, 2021

    5 star review  Positive: Cleanliness ,  Professionalism ,  Punctuality ,  Quality ,  Value First time getting Botox, I was very nervous. They ARE super friendly. They explained everything to me also answered all of my questions. Tonya is the BEST!!! she is so friendly and professional. I totally recommend this place to get Botox. THE BEST IN ABQ

    thumb Arturo Camunez
    July 4, 2021

    5 star review  Positive: Cleanliness ,  Professionalism ,  Punctuality ,  Quality Tonya really takes the time to listen to your concerns and is very accommodating. Results were fast and I love them. I highly recommend them.

    thumb Jasmine Vazquez
    April 4, 2021
  • 5 star review  Positive: Cleanliness ,  Professionalism ,  Punctuality ,  Quality ,  Value Dr. Tonya Tuggle is a true professional and such a nice person. I highly recommend her and Sandia Skin.

    thumb Lisa Rampy
    September 13, 2021

    5 star review  The office staff is super accommodating and helpful, and Dr. Tuggle and Tonya Tuggle are both wonderful at what they do. I have had multiple procedures/treatments here over the years and highly recommend them. I never feel uncomfortable or judged, which is huge when deciding on cosmetic procedures. I also never felt pressured into anything and always felt informed about all of my decisions. They have great seasonal specials on fillers, etc!

    thumb Amanda Hosbach
    May 4, 2021

    5 star review  Tonya is amazing!! She made me feel so comfortable and really listened to my concerns about my skin. She really cares and knows what she is doing. I wouldn’t go anywhere else!! I was concerned my first appointment but I just had my third and I can say it’s so worth it!!! Botox has been an incredible experience and I’m so happy to have tried it, I’m so much happier with my appearance and it looks incredibly natural. I’ve included before and after photos, neither photo is filtered or edited, you can see how makeup would collect in my forehead, and how the after it’s smooth and looks so lovely. It doesn’t feel weird or like I can’t move my muscles at all, it feels super natural. One of my biggest concerns was that I wouldn’t be able to emote with Botox but that’s just not true at all. I feel so confident and that is thanks to Tonya!

    thumb Devon Lopez
    September 13, 2021


Before your treatment session, our physician will discuss what to expect during your treatment. However, it is helpful to remember that there are a few things to take into consideration before your session:

  • At least three to four days before your procedure, discontinue anti-inflammatory medications.
  • One to two weeks before your procedure, discontinue any blood-thinning herbs, supplements, or vitamins.
  • One to two weeks before your procedure, discontinue systematic steroids
  • At least one month before your procedure, stop steroid injections
  • On the day of your procedure, eat a full, healthy breakfast and be sure to drink plenty of water
  • Please be advised that if you take chronic oral steroids, a discontinuation plan will need to be discussed with your primary care provider as abrupt stoppage may cause side effects.


After your treatment session, we recommend that all patients rest on the day of their procedure. We advise limited use of the treatment area for the next two days, but the movement is encouraged. Limited use helps the joint recover as the treatment is absorbed by the area’s surrounding tissues.

0 – 3 days post-procedure guidelines

  • After your treatment, there is a chance you’ll experience some mild to moderate pain or discomfort at the treatment site. Discomfort is normal, and it is a sign that your body is healing as it adjusts to the treatment.
  • It is best to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to help promote healing.
  • You mustn’t take ANY medications following your procedure unless specifically directed otherwise by a physician. NO medicine is a must because any drug can affect the healing process or other adverse effects.

Therefore, discontinue use of any of these medications post-procedure for best results:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications for at least two weeks post-procedure
  • Blood-thinning herbs, supplements, or vitamins for 3-4 days post-procedure
  • Systematic steroids for two weeks post-procedure
  • Other important guidelines to follow after your procedure are:
  • Avoid applying ice or heat to the injection site for the first 72 hours post-procedure
  • Don’t take a hot bath or go to a sauna for the first few days post-procedure
  • Avoid consumption of any alcoholic beverages for the first week post-procedure
  • Avoid showering for the first 24 hours following your procedure
  • Limit caffeine consumption for the first week post-procedure
  • Avoid smoking

3 – 14 days post-procedure guidelines

  • At this point in your healing, you should gradually increase your daily activities.
  • 3 to 14 days is also when you can begin exercises. Proper exercise is a vital part of long-term results, and we can help you determine which exercises are best suited for your needs before your procedure.
  • Ice can be applied 3-4 times a day for 15-20 minutes as needed for comfort
  • Anti-inflammatory medications (such as Tylenol) can be taken to help manage any residual pain at this time, take as directed
  • Continue to avoid alcoholic beverages, smoking, or excessive amounts of caffeine

3 – 4 weeks post-procedure guidelines

  • We highly encourage you to begin physical therapy to aid in your long-term healing and continued recovery at this point in your healing.
  • A follow-up appointment will be made for you to meet with our physician to review your healing process. You must keep this follow-up visit even if your recovery is going well.
  • If there are any adjustments to your customized treatment plan, this is when our physician will be able to make those decisions.


Registered Nurse Practitioner Tonya Tuggle is Albuquerque’s choice for those who want to keep their youthful appearance and healthy glow. Tonya is passionate about educating patients on preventative skin care and providing non-surgical maintenance for graceful aging. We can’t wait to meet you!

Proudly Serving Albuquerque NM and the Surrounding Communities

Los Lunas ● Santa Fe ● Rio Rancho ● Las Cruces ● South Valley ● Roswell ● Gallup ● Socorro ● Espanola ● Clovis ● Hobbs