Melasma laser treatment

The purpose of melasma laser treatment is to remove excess pigment. The treatment also eliminates cuperose vessels and soothes dermatitis.

What is melasma?

Melasma is a very common skin condition characterized by symmetrically arranged brownish irregularly shaped pigment spots on the face, especially on the forehead, cheeks and above the upper lip. In rare cases the spots may also appear on other areas of the skin exposed to the sun.

In most cases, the pigment is located in the epidermis, i.e. the lower part of the surface layer of the skin, but sometimes also in the dermis, i.e. the deeper layer of the skin. The latter option responds poorly to treatment. The depth of the pigment can usually be determined with a Wood's lamp.

What causes melasma?

In 90% of cases, melasma occurs in 20 to 40-year-old women and only 10% in men. The exact cause of the problem is not known, the formation of melasma has been associated with the hyperfunction of melanocytes that can be triggered by various initiators such as UV radiation and/or sex hormones.

These spots are known to appear most frequently during pregnancy (50-70% of women) or while taking birth control pills (5-34% of women). During pregnancy, these are also known under the name of “pregnancy mask”. As a result of sun exposure, the spots appear or become worse in spring and summer. There has to be a predisposition for the development of melasma.

Melasma can also be caused by mild ovarian and thyroid function disorders, liver function disorders, some medications that make the skin more sensitive to the sun; phototoxic reactions to cosmetic products (perfumes, essential oils - especially citrus, after-shave products, scented soaps, etc.), physical factors (scratching, hot water, sauna, etc.), sweating, diet (caffeine, spices).

Melasma laser treatment

In this treatment, excess pigment is broken up with a laser.

Melasma are treated with the Fotona Starwalker laser (Q-switched Nd:YAG). The results can be assessed after several weeks or months, and the treatment has to be frequently repeated. Impulse light sources (IPL therapy) can also lighten melasma, but can also aggravate the existing melasma. By now it is known that there is also chemical inflammation in the dermis, which we must suppress in order to achieve good results in the treatment of melasma. In addition to the pigment, we can almost always see also capillaries, i.e. couperose.

Effective Fotona StarWalker laser treatment removes pigment, eliminates cuperous vessels and soothes dermatitis.

Pre- and post-treatment guidelines for melasma laser treatment:

  • The treatment is followed by 1 day of severe redness and another 2-4 days of minor redness.
  • The treatment protocol foresees 6 procedures in approximately every 2-3 weeks.
  • Laser treatment procedures are often carried out in parallel with ointment and tablet treatment prescribed by our dermatologist.
  • If possible, the specific problem causing the pigment spots should be treated and/or contributing factors should be avoided.
  • Avoid sunbathing.