Melasma – Pigmentation on face

What is Melasma?

Melasma consists of brown spots/patches on both sides of the face, especially on the cheeks, upper lips, nose and chin. The distribution is usually symmetrical.

What Causes Melasma?

  • Hormone: Women of child-bearing age are prone.
  • Sunlight
  • Certain cosmetics containing fragrances
  • Deficiency of iron and folic acid
  • Early treatment and long term maintenance help cure melasma

What are the types of melasma?

Mild 1
Mild 2

 Is melasma recurrent? And why?

Yes, melasma can be very recurrent because of stress, hormonal changes, sun exposure.

 How to Prevent Melasma?

  • Maintenance treatment for several months
  • Life style alterations to avoid sun light.
  • Properly balanced diet
  • Avoiding Stress
  • Avoiding harmful cosmetics and facials
  • Hence, continues maintenance treatment is necessary to prevent recurrence. And with each recurrence, pigmentation penetrates deeper and becomes more and more difficult to treat
  • So Treat it early- treat it long

How to Use Sunscreens

  • Use sunscreens regularly, daily
  • Avoid sun exposure as far as possible.
  • Sun screen creams have to be applied daily, even if you are not planning to go out!!
  • Apply sunscreens two three times a day
  • Apply them half hour before leaving home

 Types of Melasma and Their Treatments








What are the Creams Used for Melasma?

  • Skin lightening creams
  • Mild peeling agents
  • Use of mild steroid creams
  • The above drugs may be used in combination-called Kligman’s formula.

The treatment usually takes several weeks. The creams have to be used regularly

What is the Advanced Treatment for Melasma?

  • In longstanding cases, pigmentation may have penetrated deep into the skin and in such cases response by above methods is inadequate. These cases need advanced treatment:
  • a) Chemical peeling by alpha hydroxyl acids (Glycolic acid-obtained from sugarcane)
  • b) Microdermabrasion- which involves use of aluminum oxide crystals under suction to remove superficial layers of skin
  • c) Laser treatment by Fractional and Q Nd Yag Lasers

What is Chemical Peeling and How Does it Work?

  • A chemical solution is applied to the skin
  • This causes the outer layer to separate, peel off and allows new skin to regenerate
  • Accumulated pigment is thus removed
  • The new skin is smoother, brighter and more even in color.

The type of chemical peel depends on the skin type of skin of patient-quick, safe treatment

 Q NdYag Laser-Laser Toning

  • This laser specifically attacks melanin and melanocytes which produce melanin
  • This is very safe and effective

 Fractional Lasers

  • Fractional laser treatment is a new, safe, minimally invasive treatment
  • This laser causes a reaction that leads to elimination of pigment, collagen remodeling

This is How Laser is Done

There may be only a slight redness for one day & the patient can go to work the very same day. Treatment is quick- only 15 minutes. 4-6 sessions are needed

 Results (Before & After)

 Final Message: Proper Treatment and Prevention are Important

  • Treatment by creams, chemical peels and lasers Is effective in treating most cases of melasma
  • Prevention by using. Maintenance treatment, Life style alterations to avoid sun light, Properly balanced diet, Avoiding Stress, Avoiding harmful cosmetics and facials is very important
  • Contact your dermatologist for more information