Melasma is an increasingly common and embarrassing skin condition that has proven hard to treat. As you may know, melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation sparked by the overproduction of melanin due to hormonal fluctuations, often associated with oral contraception and pregnancy (earning the nickname of the “pregnancy mask”). It is estimated that approximately six million women and almost one million men in the United States are currently battling melasma.
With the increasing prevalence of the condition, millions of men and women have resorted to chat rooms to discuss the issue (Why do I have it? Why does nothing work that I get from my dermatologist?). Even celebrities have been open about their struggle with the skin condition – actress Courtney Cox has been a media target for her battle with melasma and TV personality Brooke Burke has appeared on talk shows speaking about her melasma and the effect it has had on her life.
Instead of the quick fix of applying cosmetic products such as makeup, cover sticks etc,to cover these skin discolorations, here are some other alternatives to actually treat this skin condition.
As the topic of melasma becomes a growing trend, there has also been a growth in treatment options. Some of the most recent treatment developments include:
PrecisionMD Dermaceutic Peel: PrecisionMD is the first company to provide Melasma treatments that clinically work in the United States. Dermaceutic (the #1 peel in France) is an in-office and at home peel combination that rids Melasma in just 4 weeks. And, there is no social down time, which is unique to effective peels to treat melasma. It also is accompanied by an at-home kit, which further improves results over the weeks after the peel is performed.
Illuminase: Developed by Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Arielle Kauvar, Illuminase is a new procedure that combines microdermabrasion (a light skin sanding) with low energy YAG laser treatment and a pigment-reducing skin care regimen. Two to three laser treatments are performed one month apart are usually enough to clear greater than 75% of the abnormal skin pigmentation, and the results are maintained with the skin care regimen for as long as twelve months.
Fraxel Re:Store Dual Laser: Fraxel laser treatments are performed monthly for a three or four month period. A few days of downtime are generally required afterwards. Sun avoidance and the use of a high grade UVA and UVB sun block is essential at all times. Cost of laser therapy is a big deterrent in routine use of lasers in all cases of melasma, therefore, its use is still reserved only for resistant, recalcitrant cases.
Contact your local dermatologist and determine if this is a service which is provided in their office.