Melasma is a very common patchy brown, tan, or blue-gray facial skin discoloration, primarily seen on the upper cheeks, lip, forehead and chin of women 20-50 years of age. Uncontrolled sunlight exposure is considered the leading cause of melasma, especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to this condition. Melasma is most common among pregnant women, called Chloasma, especially those of Latin and Asian descents. People with olive or darker skin, such as Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern individuals, have higher incidences of melasma.
Some patients may not respond as well as others. Melasma lesions tend to darken after the first or subsequent treatments. Key factors in terms of treatment response are whether there is a sufficient melanin in the affected area, the depth of the lesion, and other factors. Regardless of the treatment response, recurrence is common and can be caused by factors such as sun exposure, genetic disposition and hormones. It is important to understand that melasma, like eczema and psoriasis, is a chronic condition that can be controlled rather than cured.
How many treatment sessions are required?
This can vary depending on the size density of melanin and depth of the affected area. Typically melasma will lighten or dissapear completely after 1-2 treatments although in some cases more treatments may be necessary.
Do I need to use topical anesthesia? What about gels?
No. Anesthetics and cooling gels are not needed with LightPod laserse, because 650-microsecond technology makes it uniquely pain-free. This unique benefit saves time, cost and mess by eliminating gels and sprays required by other lasers that cool the skin during treatment.
Is it painful?
There is a mild sensation of heat that is very tolerable. A slight pinching feeling may occur when using higher energy. This is one of the key technical breakthroughs of Aerolase technology! LightPod lasers have set a new standard for virtually pain-free treatment, even on darker skin types, thanks to 650-microsecond technology. This unique benefit saves time, cost and mess by eliminating gels and sprays required by other lasers that cool the skin during treatment.
Is it permanent, or will melasma come back?
Melasma is typically characterized by having up and down periods where the symptoms heighten and lessen. While the laser light can help lighten or completely rid of the pigmentation factors such as sun exposure, hormones and your genetic disposition can play a role in a reoccurrence of the symptoms.
Can it be used on dark skin?
Actually, LightPod lasers are the safest laser in the industry for darker skin types or tanned skin. This is because of 650-microsecond technology, which essentially eliminates treatment pain while minimizing the chances of hyper and/ or hypo-pigmentation. Patients with skin types IV-VI should be treated very cautiously, especially in the facial region, as they pose a higher risk of having hyper and/or hypo-pigmentations.