Melasma results in a disruption of the homeostatic mechanism that controls skin pigmentation. Excess pigmentation is also produced. While traditional treatment options with chemical peels and topical medication are still popular, patients increasingly seek out laser as an alternative melasma treatment in Charlotte, NC to these methods.
There are many types of light therapy and lasers that can be used to treat melasma. The most commonly used lasers and light therapies are intense pulsed light, Q-switched low fluence lasers, and fractionated non-ablative lasers. Although they all seem to be effective, there is a high rate of recurrence over time.
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Some techniques can also increase the risk of hypopigmentation or postinflammatory hypersensitivity. Although the frequency and number of treatments vary by device type, Q-switched Lasers require the most treatment applications to achieve a benefit. Vascular-specific lasers are not effective in treating melasma.
You should use ablative fractionated lasers with caution as they can cause postinflammatory hypo- or hyperpigmentation. Nonablative fractionated lasers may have a slightly longer remission time than other options. Future treatments for melasma include picosecond lasers and fractional radiofrequency.
Laser and light therapy are alternative third-line treatments for melasma. They may be beneficial to patients who have melasma that has not responded to topical or chemical therapy, or when the patient desires to see a faster pace of improvement.