While melasma does not cause any physical discomfort, it rarely fades on its own without treatment. To achieve a more even skin tone and lessen the appearance of melasma, dermatologists recommend several treatment options:
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily to help prevent further discoloration. In addition to sunscreen use, seek shade whenever possible and wear clothing/hats to help cover up. Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before sun exposure, even on cloudy days.
- Topical medicines to lighten skin (over-the-counter or prescription) may be a successful treatment option, such as a hydroquinone cream, lotion, or gel, tretinoin, corticosteroids, azelaic acid, or kojic acid.
- Clinical procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, Fraxel Dual 1550/1927, Q-switched Nd-YAG, and Ruby Lasers are implemented to lessen the appearance of melasma.
At our Aesthetics’ student clinic, affordable and effective peels and microderm services are offered by appointment.
- In cases where the melasma does not respond to the above options, a combination of treatments may be necessary to completely remove stubborn patches.
The good news – many, if not all, of the above treatment options are non-invasive, require little to no recovery time, and have long-lasting effects against the appearance of melasma. Be cautious of at-home remedies and certain over-the-counter medications, as many that involve scrubbing or chemicals can irritate and worsen the condition. It is important to seek the advice of an expert before beginning treatment.