You may have melasma if you see brownish patches of discolored skin appear on your face. While melasma commonly occurs during pregnancy, and often goes away after delivery, it’s also triggered by sunlight and can last for years. The team at MedWeight and Lasers in Irvine, California, have extensive experience successfully treating melasma with diverse topical and laser therapies. Call the office if you have any questions about skin discolorations, or schedule an appointment online for a consultation.
Melasma is a medical condition in which discolored, brown patches develop on your skin. The dark areas often appear on the face, but they can develop on your arms, hands, neck, and any other place of your body exposed to sunlight.
Melasma is commonly triggered by:
When pregnancy or hormone changes cause melasma, the discolorations often fade away after delivery or when you stop taking hormones. However, many cases of melasma don’t resolve on their own, and the discolorations can last for years. They’re treated with topical medications, laser therapy, or chemical peels.
PICO Enlighten uses lasers to safely and effectively remove patches of melasma from all types of skin. When lasers operate at certain wavelengths, their energy is only absorbed by the discolored patches.
As melasma pigments absorb laser energy, they become hot enough to break apart into such small pieces that they’re naturally removed by the body. The PICO Enlighten is especially successful in removing melasma because it emits rapid laser pulses that break down darkened pigments into very tiny particles.
VI Peel refers to a family of products from VI Aesthetics that treat various skin problems. The VI Peel Precision Plus is a type of chemical peel that targets pigment problems like melasma.
The VI Peel contains a blend of ingredients that effectively remove top layers of skin without causing pain. Its ingredients include substances such as retinoic acid, salicylic acid, ascorbic acid, hydroquinone, kojic acid and others.
Your physician at MedWeight and Lasers applies VI Peel to areas of melasma, then the treatment stays on your skin for six hours before it’s removed. Over the next seven days, you’ll follow a specific skin care regimen while old skin peels. As new skin grows in, it replaces the discolored area.
Hydroquinone is a bleaching agent. When applied to melasma patches, it blocks the production of the natural pigments that darken skin, and gradually lightens the discoloration.
You should notice the difference in your melasma patches within four weeks, but if several months go by without improvement your doctor at MedWeight and Lasers may need to change your treatment. It’s important to use a sunscreen together with hydroquinone treatment.