What is Melasma?

Melasma, also known as chloasma, is a common skin condition among adults that causes light to dark brown or greyish pigmentation to develop, mainly on facial skin. Although most people who have melasma get it on their forehead, bridge of their nose, cheeks, and above their upper lip, the pigmentation can appear on any area of skin that gets a lot of sun exposure. At Kalia Dermatology and Laser Center in Los Gatos, California, we use advanced laser skin treatments to help patients from the San Francisco Bay area reduce the appearance of melasma.

What Causes Melasma?

The word melasma comes from the Greek word melas, which means black. Although the condition affects women and people with darker skin tones who live in sunny climates, melasma can affect both genders and people of all races. While the specific causes of melasma aren’t well understood, several factors can increase your risk of developing the condition, including: Pregnancy, hormone medications, and hormonal changes. Stress may trigger the condition in some people. Sun exposure and tanning beds may also trigger or worsen melasma. Melasma tends to be more noticeable during the summer and less noticeable during the winter, when the sun is further away. It’s important to note that melasma doesn’t stem from an allergy, it isn’t contagious, cancerous, or precancerous, and it’s not an infection.

How is Melasma Diagnosed?

Our group of certified dermatologists can usually diagnose melasma fairly quickly, as the characteristics of its pigmentation and distribution pattern on your face are trademark signs of the condition. If one of our physicians believes that they should rule out other possible diagnoses, they may take a tiny sample of your skin to examine under the microscope.  

Although there’s no cure for melasma, there are ways to significantly improve its appearance. First and foremost, reducing your sun exposure and wearing sunscreen along with a wide-brimmed hat whenever you’re planning to be outside for prolonged periods of time is one of the best ways to keep the condition in check. If you want to diminish its appearance as much as possible, we offer advanced laser technology treatments that can get the job done safely, efficiently, and effectively. Our board certified physicians can create a customized treatment plan that include topical, oral and laser treatment options.

How does the Clear + Brilliant laser work for melasma?

Clear and Brilliant for melasma and hyperpigmentation is a gentle, non-invasive alternative that can help you to safely resurface your skin. The Clear and Brilliant treatment is a gentle laser resurfacing that corrects hyperpigmentation while boosting skin radiance, refining pores, and increasing collagen production. The FDA approved Clear and Brilliant for melasma and hyperpigmentation because of its mild yet effective treatment methods. Clear and Brilliant is so mild, it’s even useful for dark skin tones.

How does the PicoSkin laser work for melasma?

The PicoSkin laser (also known by the name PicoSure) is an excellent option for melasma treatment because it doesn’t produce heat, which would potentially increase inflammation and make the condition worse. Instead, PicoSkin laser technology delivers extremely short pressure waves into your skin that shatter darker pigmentations into tiny particles that are then absorbed and flushed by your immune system. Undergoing a series of PicoSkin laser treatments, each spaced four weeks apart, can deliver substantial improvement in melasma hyperpigmentation on your face.

Before and After

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