Melasma refers to the patches of skin pigmentation that are of a darker color than the surrounding healthy skin, and is commonly found in women. These patches are usually found on both sides of the cheeks, jawline, forehead, upper lip and nose.
This skin condition is closely associated with the hormones and some individuals show signs of melasma after pregnancy or during menopause. Research suggests that melasma is further complicated through exposure to UV rays and heat.
So, the question is: What treatment can remove melasma?
Melasma tends to require a holistic approach. Laser treatments are paired with take-home products such as topical pigment lighteners to enhance the treatment.
IPL and Q-Switch Laser
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light, and produces a broad spectrum visible light, releasing light of many different wavelengths.IPL is often confused with laser treatment, but is not a true laser. The pigments on your skin absorb the light energy, which is converted to heat. The heat destroys the pigmentation on your skin.
However, it is more risky for people with darker skin tones, because the IPL cannot differentiate what is pigmentation and what is skin.
Q-Switch, such as Lutronic Spectra™, is a non-invasive short-pulsed single column beam laser.
This laser targets the pigments and shatters them through a photoacoustic disruption. Because it is a true laser beam, the energy can be controlled and the treatment area can be pinpointed.
In addition to melasma, this laser can be very effective at reducing hyperpigmentation, brown spots, and freckles.
Which One is the Optimal Treatment for Melasma?
While results from fewer sessions of IPL may show great results at reducing melasma, it may be short term.
If you have melasma, using an IPL treatment can put your skin at risk as it heats up the surrounding tissue and melanin. Right after an IPL treatment, the skin can be quite irritated and require downtime. This can actually increase the chance of hyperpigmentation and make the melasma condition worse.
Pigmentation in the skin can return and the patient may be more vulnerable to further skin damage and hyperpigmentation during the recovery process.
The Lutronic Spectra™ Q-Switch laser is the first laser to earn FDA clearance for melasma.
It can be used to treat all skin types, from darker to lighter skin. The controlled gentle ND Yag energy can slowly break up melasma pigmentation without overheating the surrounding tissues.
The Q-Switch laser may require more treatment sessions to reveal its true potential, but skin pigmentation can be kept at bay during the recovery process.
These treatments may also involve the application of a topical solution such a hydroquinone, a pigment lightener. Patients can expect wonderful results if they follow the correct aftercare protocol.
Remove Melasma Without Worrying!
Anyone who is interested in treating their melasma should do extensive research beforehand to find the most professional and qualified providers. In addition, a thorough consultation should be carried out before any treatment is done – you may have a different skin issue, or you may not be a candidate for melasma treatments.
We offer everyone a free consultation where we assess your skin and discuss your concerns in order to design a one-of-a-kind bespoke treatment for you.
Book with us today to receive $100 off your first laser treatment!