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.

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
  • Contrary to popular belief, shedding of pigment is not the primary aim of laser
  • My favoured lasers include nanosecond Spectra, Spectra Hollywood, C6 & Revlite
  • Pico Lasers including Picoway & Picosure are not the answer to melasma
  • 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.

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?

In the vast majority of times, I prefer nano lasers over pico & fractional lasers for melasma.

My goto QSL is the Spectra & updated Spectra Hollywood laser (don’t laugh, I know it’s a corny name). I also use the C6, 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 older nano lasers offer a significant advantage over newer pico lasers. I don’t think pico is the way, at least at the time of writing (2022). There may be newer settings & wavelengths in the future. The most important concept to understand is that lasers are not employed to destroy pigment or pigment cells. If you use lasers in this role, melasma will definitely get worse.

Nano QSL using C6, Revlite, Pastelle, Spectra, Hollywood Spectra & other comparable lasers still offer the best ‘bang for your buck’, with very little risks & costs.

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

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.

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