Melasma is a common skin condition that causes brown to gray-brown patches on the skin. It usually affect the face but it may appear on other sun-exposed areas of the skin such as the neck or the arms.
For more information regarding the clinical manifestations of melasma click here.
Melasma sometimes may fade away on its own. If it persists, a variety of treatment modalities can be used. As a general rule, any irritation of the skin in individuals prone to develop melasma, may provoke or worsen the condition. This is why a gentle, step by step treatment approach, tailored to the patients skin type, yields the best results.
Therapeutic approaches for melasma include:
- Gentle skin-lightening products (commercially available creams)
- Prescription galenic products with different combinations of active ingredients (prescribed by your Dermatologist and composed at certain Pharmacies)
- Special chemical peels
- Laser treatments
Treatment response and outcome depend on the depth of melanin deposition in the skin: the deeper, the more resistant to treatment.
Usually melasma is not easy to treat, as it can easily recur. This is why in most cases it may take several months to see substantial improvement. Different treatment modalities may be combined in order to achieve a clear skin. Laser treatments are used as third line therapies, in cases with resistant melasma. Fractional Co2 Laser is a very effective treatment in selected cases.It is important to carefully follow your Dermatologist’s directions during the treatment period to ensure maximum benefit.
Rigorous sun-protection measures should be applied. A sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA, UVB) and high protection factor (SPF 50+) has to be used daily, even on cloudy days and during winter time. The pigment-producing cells in melasma are extremely sensitive to very low dose of sunlight.
For this reason, sun protection is essential even after a good result in clearing the skin from melasma has been achieved. It helps to preserve the skin clear and to prevent recurrence of melasma.
In our Practice we treat melasma using a comprehensive, professional approach. We apply modern therapeutic modalities that have been proven to be safe and effective. Following the international therapeutic guidelines, we customize treatment in order to ensure the best results for each one of our patients.