Melasma (also known as pregnancy mask) is a very common pigmentation disorder. Dark patches of skin gradually develop on the cheeks, forehead, nose and upper lip. Historically, melasma can be a difficult to treat condition with high rates of recurrence. It is characterized by chronic hyperpigmentation (often symmetrical) on the sun-exposed areas on the face. More than 50 million women worldwide experience melasma.
Melasma treatment at Westside Laser & Light is tailored to the individual and certain treatments that we perform here are not suitable for all types of melasma or individuals.
First line therapy is topical agents including hydroquinone, cortisone and retinol. Accompanied with sun avoidance and SPF.
Topical medications for melasma are often supported with a series of chemical peels.
Depending on your skin type and type of melasma (dermal or epidermal), we may recommend a series of micro-needling or Q-switched laser treatments as a third line therapy. Darker skin types can see a worsening of the melasma with heat-based treatments and so we avoid using laser in these instances. Micro-needing does not use heat and is a safe and effective option for darker skin types.
After a successful treatment series for melasma, results may be maintained with a daily skin care regimen and chemical peels, micro-needling or Q-switched laser treatment every 3 months or so.