What exactly is melasma?
Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation that is very common among Asians. They appear as symmetrical, blotchy, brownish patches on the face, and sometimes the neck, chest and even forearms.
Women are at a higher chance to have melasma, the ratio of women to men having melasma is 9:1 in some studies. Onset is during childbearing years, and is frequently described as ‘mask of pregnancy’. It starts during the mid-30s, and continue to affect individuals into their 60s and beyond.
Melasma is also known as hormonal pigmentation or cholasma. It presents as patchy pigmentation on the forehead, under the eyes & upper lip. Melasma is caused by a combination of genes, UV rays, and hormones. It is more common in pregnancy & may occur after taking the birth control pill.
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Q-Switched laser treatment is a very effective method for treat melasma. As opposed to other treatments that cause more discomfort, trauma to the skin and downtime, the Q-Switched laser will successfully shut down over-active pores and sebaceous glands resulting in great improvement in the health, look and feel of your skin.
The results vary as it depends on the size, density of melanin and depth of the affected area. Typically, melasma will lighten after 1-2 treatments although in some cases more treatments may be necessary.
The treatment procedure is comfortable and bearable. No topical numbing is required usually. After the laser treatment, there is a mild sensation of heat on the skin. This can cause some redness which will subside in a few hours. The best part is you are able to relax and watch TV.
Melasma is typically characterized by having up and down periods where the symptoms heighten and lessen. While the laser light can help lighten or completely rid of the pigmentation factors such as sun exposure on the face, hormones and your genetic disposition can play a role in a recurrence.