Pigment can be found superficially in the skin like a freckle or deep in the leather of the skin like a mole or in both locations. The deeper the location the more challenging the removal.
Common melasma treatments in Louisiana include the use sunscreens, stopping of hormonal therapy if possible, and the use of bleaching creams containing kojic acid, hydroquinone ( there is some controversy about its use) , topical retinoids (Retinol or Retin A), topical steroids, Hydrafacials, microdermabrasions and ViPeels.
The Skinceuticals lightening creams in conjunction with Hydrafacial is great for treating the superficial melasma.
Facial peels, like a ViPeel control melasma in superficial layer and the upper portion of the middle layer of skin .
However, If melasma is uncontrolled, due to the depth of the pigment, more aggressive light or laser therapies are used. IPL (intense pulse light) appears more effective for superficial and intermediate depth pigment, but its not that great for deeper pigment. SmartSkin CO2 laser with its exclusive multi-pulse treatment is effective for both superficial and deep layers in just about all skin types.
The protocol at Bridges to Beauty is first to treat the entire face and neck region with a very strong compounded bleaching agent for a minimum of 4 weeks to suppress melanocyte (the cell that makes the pigment) activity.
For Superficial and Moderate Depth Colors:
ViPeel or Elite MPX IPL light treatment have minimal downtime. Typically treatment consist of 3 to 6 treatments spaced every 10 days to 2 weeks. On every other week a HydraFacial cleans the dead skin off prior to the next treatment.
For Deep Pigment:
SmartSkin laser treatment, for moderate to deep pigment, is a Fraxel-like therapy with better depth of controls. Typically 4 to 6 treatment are used spaced 10 days to 2 weeks apart. Every other week a Hydrafacial is performed to remove dead skin layers. Down time is usually not significant, however I suggest doing the treatments on Friday to have the weekend for recovery.
With these protocols there is a reduction of pigment in “most skin types” between 75% and 100% with a satisfaction rate in a similar range. Latino-Americans, for some unknown reason, tend to be more resistant with any treatment.
For those searching for a melasma treatment in the ARKLATEX region, our cosmetic and plastic surgery center looks forward to providing this service for you. Call (318) 219-8555 today to make an appointment.