Many patients come to us seeking treatment for pigmentation concerns, which often turns out to be melasma. Melasma is a common skin condition that appears as symmetrical irregular patches of abnormal tan or brown pigmentation on sun-exposed areas of the face, such as the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and chin. This condition is nine-times more common in women than men and affects more than 5 million people in the United States alone.
What Causes Melasma?
Melasma is triggered by hormonal changes, sun, and heat. It’s a genetic condition that may start subtly and can intensify depending on lifestyle choices. Many women experience melasma during pregnancy, due to fluctuating hormones.
Treatments to Avoid with Melasma
Before diving into what to do, it’s important to know what not to do. Melasma is not your average pigmentation. It does not respond the same way normal age spots and sun damage do to treatments, such as IPL, for example. IPL is not suitable for this condition because the heat can exacerbate the condition and make it worse. Initially, the pigment may go away, but it will come back with a vengeance.
The Secret to Treating Melasma
When treating Melasma, it’s important that you’re using prescription grade products and sun protection is key. We recommend ZO Skin Health’s Multi-Therapy Hydroquinone System. Hydroquinone doesn’t “bleach” the skin, but rather interrupts the abnormal pigment production by melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) making your skin a more uniform color. By itself, Hydroquinone 4% has been shown to clear melasma in 35-40% of patients. This treatment kit is specifically designed to treat Melasma and works wonders in conjunction with our ResurFX laser treatment.
What Is ResurFX?
ResurFX is a non-ablative laser treatment that is able to penetrate down into the dermis, gradually lifting this pigment up. With five treatments spaced four-to-six weeks apart, and a strict routine using the brightening product protocol, we’ve seen results such as the example below.
ResurFX vaporizes tiny columns of tissue on the skin’ surface, stimulating the body’s natural skin cell and collagen regenerative response. Because of its miniscule size, the ResurFX laser does not damage the surrounding healthy tissue, allowing for rapid healing to only the targeted area. These microscopic thermal wounds through the skin’s surface break up the abnormal pigment and destroy over-producing melanocytes.
Once you’ve treated your Melasma, maintenance is key. It’s important to limit your sun and heat exposure and continue using a medical grade product line, such as ZO Skin Health. Upon completion of the hydroquinone system, you’ll want to begin a brightening protocol for skin maintenance, as recommended by your aesthetician. Additional, but less aggressive, laser treatments may also be necessary, depending on flare-ups.
Visit Our Medspa In Scottsdale
We know that Melasma is a frustrating condition, but it can be treated. For a complimentary consultation, call 480-436-7200, or reach out to us online, and we’ll create a customized treatment plan for you! Contact Vibe MedSpas to get to start your journey toward evenly toned, gorgeous skin!