If you are currently suffering from the appearance of melasma on your face or body, there are numerous treatments to improve your uneven complexion and hyperpigmentation. The most popular and effective cosmetic treatments are topical solutions with hydroquinone and laser procedures such as Lutronic Spectra, Fraxel re:fine and Fraxel DUAL melasma treatment.
Dr. Umar at FineTouch Dermatology has helped thousands of Los Angeles and Orange County residents achieve glowing, even complexions and radiant, wrinkle-free beautiful skin. Dr. Umar can tell you the best course of action for your skin.
WHAT CAUSES MELASMA ON SKIN?
This particular type of hyperpigmentation appears as brown skin splotches and creates an uneven skin tone and blotchy complexion. The brown skin blotches result from an increase in melanin production. The exact cause of melasma remains unknown but it is usually linked to pregnancy, hormonal changes and sun damage. It typically coincides with hormonal fluctuations, particularly progesterone and estrogen. Those with olive or darker skin tones also have higher chances of developing melasma.
Melanin production also coincides with UV light exposure since it acts a natural sunscreen to skin by means of a tan. When loss of electrons to free radicals due to oxidation in lipids within the cell membrane due to UV light exposure, melanocytes trigger melanin production to counteract the process.
Potential contributors of melasma are:
- Hormonal changes
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Birth control pills
- Excessive ultraviolet (UV) light exposure
- Certain medications
- Genetic predisposition
TOPICAL SOLUTIONS AND LASER TREATMENTS IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE OF MELASMA
Preventing excess sun and UV light exposure is one of the best ways to prevent melasma. This includes daily application of sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, especially on the face. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes prior to sun exposure and every two hours if you are in the direct sun for extended periods, swimming or sweating excessively. Protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses are also recommended. Sunscreen lessens the affects of UVA and UVB light rays from triggering melanin production.
If you already have moderate to severe melasma, you have many melasma treatment options. Methods to eliminate and improve the appearance of melasma include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, Q-switched Nd-YAG and Ruby lasers, Fraxel re:fine and Fraxel DUAL melasma treatment.
- Hydroquinone: available in 2 and 4 percent formulations
- Fraxel DUAL
- Lutronic Spectra
Hydroquinone is a skin-bleaching agent available in 2 and 4 percent formulations. The 2 percent formula is available over-the-counter, while the 4 percent formulation is prescription-only. Hydroquinone is used to lighten areas of darkened skin such as freckles, chloasma (also known as melasma), age spots, and acne scars.
Melasma requires specific wavelengths for laser melasma treatments. Lutronic Spectra and Fraxel DUAL melasma treatment both eradicate extra melanin within organelles.
FDA APPROVAL FOR FRAXEL DUAL MELASMA TREATMENT PROVES ITS EFFICACY
In June 2013, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Fraxel DUAL for melasma treatment. The recent approval further proves the efficacy of Fraxel DUAL melasma treatment for this specific treatment of skin pigmentation issues. Though many dermatologists previously used Fraxel DUAL to treat the uneven complexion and brown skin splotches associated with melasma, the FDA approval now makes more patients feel at ease with the treatment.
Fraxel DUAL is a non-ablative laser treatment that offers two laser strengths to stimulate collagen and refine skin. For more information on Fraxel DUAL melasma treatment, click here.