Types and Causes of Melasma
Many clients present with Melasma more often and especially women when pregnant or using contraceptives or taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Some genetic link is indicated by the more frequent presentation of Melasma among men and women of German, Russian and Asian ancestry. Another observed inheritable example is the presentation of Melasma on the arms of Native American people. Melasma is also seen to darken over time and with sun exposure making it more noticeable as we age.
For Melasma that arises from pregnancy or using contraceptives or taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT); the discoloration usually reduces over a period of several months after giving birth or cessation of the oral contraceptives or HRT. For Melasma not associated with pregnancy, contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, a range of treatments to reduce the prominence of the discolouration are available.
Benefits of the Q-switched laser for treating Melasma
The inherent nature of Melasma does make treatment a challenge since Melasma is a mixed dermal (deep) and epidermal (superficial) form of skin pigmentation. The pigmentation develops through these layers of the skin, effective treatment of Melasma has previously been difficult to achieve. While there are several other treatments available for reducing the discolouration of Melasma, therapeutic Laser treatment is increasingly being recommended as a safe and effective therapy for Melasma.
A substantial body of opinion has developed revealing that Q-switched lasers such as the MedLite laser as used by City Laser Clinic are especially effective because the machine can deliver 2 classes of therapeutic laser. The ability to deliver different laser forms, appropriate for the various types of lesion is especially necessary for treating Melasma because it presents as dermal (deep) and epidermal (superficial) pigmentation. The MedLite allows the operator to select:
- A wavelength of 532nm suitable for treatment of near surface (epidermal) skin pigmentations, as well as;
- A wavelength of 1064nm that is more suitable for treatment of pigmentations in the dermal (deep) layer of the skin.
At City Laser Clinic we understand the distress and embarrassment that skin blemishes such as melasma can cause. City Laser Clinic therapists have established that the Q-Switch is the most effective resource for treatment of skin blemishes such as Melasma, because of the functional ability to select and deliver the laser wavelength best suited to the depth of the discolouration.
City Laser Clinic therapists have the experience, training and qualifications to provide safe and effective treatment of all types of skin pigmentations. The City Laser Clinic therapists do sometimes need to refer clients to their General Medical Practitioner for assessment and when in doubt will not treat until a Medical Clearance is provided. As with all Laser therapy treatments, the frequency and number of treatments will depend on your skin type, the area affected and the size of that area.
Contact us to arrange a free consultation to discuss a treatment plan that suits your needs. Our experience shows that 8-10 treatments weekly will ensure significant improvement and in some cases complete fading of Melasma. One maintenance treatment every 8 weeks is recommended to maintain achieved results.
What will my skin look like after the treatment ?
The surrounded skin will look slightly pink and the treated lesion may appear darker. The redness will subside within 2 – 4 hours.If your treatment required down time, slight redness may remain for a few days (3 – 5 days). It can be easily be covered with makeup. The redness will eventually subside.
Are there any Precautions to take during treatment?
Melasma is a dermal condition and has a tendency to reappear especially due to the sun exposure. Meticulous use of SPF is a must! As with all laser treatment, you must avoid exposure to direct sunlight before treatment, during treatment and for some weeks following treatment. At City Laser Clinic, our experienced qualified therapists will advise you based on your skin type and the nature of the treatments that you are receiving.