Melasma Lasers

  • Best Results2-4 months
  • Treatment Recovery0 days
  • Procedure Time5 to 10 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistNurse, dermal therapist
  • Duration of ResultsMonths to years
  • AnaestheticNot required
  • Back to WorkImmediately
  • Cost$

Melasma Lasers

Lasers can be useful as adjunctive therapy for melasma. I use specific wavelengths to slowly reduce pigment production from melanocytes. Pigment inhibitors, chemical peels, vessel modifying tablets & laser wavelengths can effectively treat the majority of melasma cases. The best laser for melasma is the Picosure Pro, read more to find out why.

FactsFacts on Melasma Lasers

  • Lasers are part of the multimodality approach to treat melasma
  • Other super important treatment includes creams, sun protection & tablets
  • Laser work by reducing the output of pigment from cell known as melanocytes
  • Pico lasers work by clearing pigment in the superficial & deep layers of the skin
  • Pico provide the fastest clearance of melasma, my go to is the Picoway
  • In Sydney I use the CuRAS laser, Picosure is due in 2024
  • I do use thulium 1927 including Fraxel, LaseMD & Clear & Brilliant as last line lasers

What is melasma?

Melasma Lasers

Melasma is an extremely complex pigment disorder that has been better understood with medical science over the past decade. It affects mainly women & presents as persistent patches of pigmentation under the eyes, on the forehead, & upper lips.

The cause is multifactorial. This includes radiation (UV, visible & IR), genetics, hormones & other triggers (lasers, IPL, microneedling). The most important factor to understand is that treatments are aimed at reducing pigment output.

Are lasers the answer for treating melasma?

No, but they are very useful. The answer for treating this condition is a combination of topical creams, absolute sun protection, tablets to modulate cytokines & lasers. The target is the melanocyte (pigment cell), however the answer is addressing all the factors that contribute to increased melanin production.

Lasers such as the Picosure Pro can markedly speed up pigment clearance in most patients.

Pico lasers are very effective in removing non-melasma pigmentation. We prefer Q switch lasers over Pico when treating this form of pigmentation.

What are my commonly used lasers to treat melasma?

I prefer pico lasers over older Q switch lasers & fractional lasers for melasma.

My goto laser is the Picosure Pro. 

Older lasers include the  Spectra & updated Spectra Hollywood laser. I also use the C6, CuRAS (in Sydney), RevLite, & Pastelle lasers. It’s the laser parameters & way it’s delivered, and not the laser that counts.

I also use the 1927 thulium laser, namely the LaseMD, Clear & Brilliant & Fraxel Dual. For super resistant melama I may consider the pico laser. For vascular melasma I also use V Beam Prima & Perfecta. 

Will lasers make my condition worse?

No, not in the usual context of primary melasma treatment. The reason is that we use conservative settings to stun the melanocytes, & not beat the living sh*t out of them.

If I use other lasers such as thulium Fraxel & pico, there is a chance I will worsen the condition. You will be warned if we need to go down this route.

Rotational therapy is the key to managing melasma. My patients are allocated one specific nurse who can guide you through your rotational cycle.

Davin’s Viewpoint on Melasma & lasers

Lasers are useful in the management of melasma. To date, the newer picosecond lasers, in particular the Picosure Pro offer a significant advantage over older nano lasers. This means faster clearance rates & safer outcomes due to the ultra short pulse duration of these lasers. Older nano QSL using C6, Revlite, Pastelle, Spectra, Hollywood Spectra & other comparable lasers are still useful. I do believe the provide a similar outcome, albeit they take 3-5 times longer.

Treatments are conducted every 2-4 weeks, with zero downtime. To see if lasers are suitable for your skin condition, book a consultation with my nursing team at Cutis Dermatology in Brisbane, or DVP Skin Clinic in Sydney.

Though lasers are useful, they remain as adjunctive management for melasma. Medical therapy including the use of tyrosinase inhibitors & VEGF modulators are first line. Mitigation of UV, HEV & longer wavelengths of light form the foundation of melasma management.

Hybrid lasers including 1570 & 1550 non-ablative lasers can treat deep stubborn melasma.


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