The best Melasma treatment is with a pico-second laser, which are attracted to the pigment present in the affected area. To lighten the stain, multiple laser treatments are required.


What is Melasma?

Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation on the skin. It is a harmless skin condition. It doesn’t itch or hurt, and it doesn’t become malignant. It appears as light brown, dark brown, and/or bluish patches or freckle-like spots on your skin. These brownish patches can appear on the face, neck, chest and forearms. Women are more prone to melasma then men, about 9:1 ratio. Onset starts during pregnancy, and can continue into their 60s and beyond. There is no cure for melasma, only treatment to reduce it and suppress it.

What Causes Melasma?

Melasma is one of the most difficult skin problem to treat as it is multifactorial. There are many factors that contribute to melasma. The factors that cause melasma to occur in the first place will continue to stimulate the skin to develop more melasma if the patient is still exposed to them. There are two main causes of melasma: radiation, whether ultraviolet, visible light, or infrared (heat) light; and hormones. Ultraviolet and infrared radiation from the sun are key in making melasma worse. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone may play a role in some woman.

Other triggers that can cause melasma include:

  • Birth control pills
  • Antiseizure medications
  • Estrogen/Diethylstilbestrol
  • Hypothyroidism
  • LED Screens
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetics
  • Phototoxic drugs (medicines that make you sensitive to sunlight)
  • Makeup (cosmetics)
  • Skin care products
  • Soaps
  • Tanning beds
melasma before and after
melasma before and after
melasma before and after

Why is the Picosure laser for melasma treatment so popular?

In a study of four women treated with Picosure lasers for facial melasma, assessments in four weeks and six months after treatment showed success in reducing their melasma. They did not report side effects like dermatitis or hyperpigmentation, showing that on the whole, PicoSure lasers are safe and effective.

1. PicoSure uses pico-second pulsed laser energy
PicoSure’s enhanced laser treatment targets the skin in increments of one-trillionth of a second. It creates short pulses of laser energy that go straight to the pigment of your melasma, breaking it apart so your body can naturally flush it out.

Other treatments for melasma can sometimes cause discoloration or other effects on the surrounding skin. But with PicoSure, the pigmentation in the melasma skin patch is specifically targeted for treatment, which improves the look of your problem areas while also protecting surrounding skin.

3. The treatments are short and only causes minor discomfort
Conventional treatments for melasma may have been long-term treatments, in which you had to do many and wait to see results. With PicoSure Laser, the laser treatments are about 15 to 30 minutes. During the treatment, there is only a bit of minor discomfort. Depending on your specific skin condition, you may see results in only one session or you may need several to achieve your desired appearance.

4. With other types of lasers, the treatments could make the melasma worse. With heat-based lasers, extreme heat can even cause melasma to recur. PicoSure, however, is different. The technology used in the PicoSure laser is designed to combat the damaging processes in other types of heat-based lasers. With the picosure laser, there is less time for heat damage within the skin.

5. PicoSure treatment improves your skin besides reducing melasma.
While doing the pico treament for melasma, you will find that it also will improve the tone, elasticity, and texture of your skin. The laser smoothes and improves the overall appearance of your skin, reducing wrinkles, sun spots, and acne scars, so skin rejuvenation is a bonus for the melasma treatment.

A Prospective, Split-Face, Randomized Study Comparing a 755-nm Picosecond Laser With and Without Diffractive Lens Array in the Treatment of Melasma in Asians  PUBMED

Conclusions: A 755-nm picosecond laser is safe and effective for the treatment of melasma in dark-skinned individuals. 

Q & A for Melasma Treatment

PicoSure Laser treatment is the best treatment that works on Melasma with little risk of damaging or scarring the skin. Sometimes, laser treatments may make the pigmentation darker than normal, but this usually is just temporary.

Energy from the PicoSure laser targets the melasma without damaging surrounding skin. The melasma pigmentation absorbs the energy and breaks into tiny pieces, which are absorbed by the body. The laser energy targets only the darkened patches of melasma, leaving the surrounding skin untouched.

The most common side effects that come with laser treatment for melasma are skin irritation, redness, skin peeling, and swelling.  Pigment will darken for 1-3 weeks following the treatment, then will begin to fade.

The sun is your worse enemy. Make sure you avoid the sun. Apply sunscreen each time you are out in the sun.

Laser treatments can be a good option for treating melasma that's resistant to other treatment options, like skin-lightening agents or chemical peels. Lasers permeate your outer layer of skin, resulting in cell renewal for brighter, more even skin.  Most cases of melasma will fade away with time and especially with good protection from sunlight and other sources of light. Unfortunately, there is no definitive treatment that will automatically make melasma disappear permanently.

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