What is Melasma?
Melasma is a skin pigmentation problem. It occurs when gray or brown spots develop on the skin, typically on the face. Women are generally more affected by melasma than men. Oftentimes, it transpires during pregnancy due to the changing balance of hormones. It can also arise from other hormonal shifts, such as going on birth control. In addition, sun damage is also a culprit of this condition. Melasma is usually found on the cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lip and chin. It can also occur on your neck or forearms, but this is rare. Dr. Garrett Wirth can treat melasma wherever the location and whatever the cause.
Melasma Treatment Options
There are many noninvasive treatment options for melasma to choose from. One of these choices is an IPL (intense pulsed light) photofacial. The procedure will begin with your skin being cleansed by a mild cleanser. Following this, an ultrasound gel will be applied on your skin. This will prevent irritation and soothe your skin. Next, the IPL light will begin to be emitted through an applicator. The pulses from the IPL light will signal to your body to accelerate the healing process.
Patients who choose IPL photofacials typically need to have five to eight treatments to effectively treat melasma. There is no required recovery time after any of the treatments. Over the course of your IPL photofacials, the affected areas of your skin will become crusty and begin to fall off, leaving you melasma-free.
Microdermabrasion is another superficial treatment option for melasma. It gently sloughs away skin cells to unveil fresh skin underneath. Dr. Wirth will perform the exfoliation with a diamond-tipped hand piece to massage aluminum oxide crystals into your skin, thus removing the top layer and revealing clearer skin. The crystals and other excess skin particles will then be removed with a gentle suction. Patients typically receive five to twelve more treatments in two week increments after their first microdermabrasion. This ensures your best results and clear, bright skin.
Chemical peels can be used to treat a multitude of skin problems, including melasma. You may receive a peel that ranges from light to deep depending on your circumstances. Light chemical peels target unhealthy, hyper-pigmented skin by using a variety of alpha hydroxy acid treatments (such as lactic, fruit or glycolic acid). Medium and deep peels are made of more powerful acids such as trichloroacetic, phenol and acetone. Each of these solutions vary in application and recovery time, as well as the frequency that you can receive them. Dr. Wirth will help you decide which type of chemical peel would be most beneficial forto treating your melasma. At your chemical peel appointment, Dr. Wirth will apply the treatment to your face and the solution will begin to break down the damaged areas of skin and remove them. Following the treatment, and depending upon the severity of your melasma, you may need up to two weeks of recovery time.
If you are suffering from melasma, don’t give up hope! There are many treatment options available to you. Dr. Wirth is an experienced surgeon who will inform you about all of all your options to ensure that you receive the best treatment for you. Contact him today to set up a consultation!
To get your evaluation, schedule your consultation now with Dr. Garrett Wirth at (949) 238-6713, or fill out a complimentary case consultation form here.