Everything You Must Know Before Seeking Laser Treatment for Melasma
Melasma is a medical condition where blotchy, dark patches or spots appear on the skin. While melasma commonly appears on the face, it can also be seen on other body parts exposed to sun rays. Women falling under the 20-40 age bracket with darker skin are most susceptible to this skin condition.
Though the exact factors that cause melasma aren’t entirely understood, some factors believed to play a significant role include sun exposure, hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, medications, and certain pre-existing health conditions.
Melasma is not harmful but can take a toll on a person’s self-confidence. Because of this, more people are looking at laser therapy as a permanent way to get rid of skin discolouration, and the fact that it also works as an anti-aging skin treatment seems to be a bonus for them.
If you’re one of them and have been considering laser therapy for melasma, we will take a deep dive into the subject to help you understand everything you need to know before booking an appointment.
What are the Perks of Melasma Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy for melasma is an extremely promising treatment, especially for individuals suffering from treatment-resistance melasma that doesn’t get better with conventional options, such as chemical peels and skin-lightening creams. Some of the main benefits include the following –
● Possible fading of dark patches and spots on the skin
● Quick sessions with minimal recovery time
● Targets the affected areas only without affecting the surrounding tissues
● New skin cells appear smoother and more even-toned than earlier
● Improved self-confidence when specifically caused by melasma
Are There Downsides to the Treatment?
While melasma laser therapy can effectively eliminate dark spots, there are a few side effects. Let’s take a quick look at them –
● Skin irritation, peeling, swelling, and redness for a couple of days after the treatment
● Hypopigmentation in the targeted areas
● Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is usually temporary and common in individuals with darker skin.
How Effective Is It?
Laser therapy is considered one of the most effective treatments for reducing dark patches and spots, especially in people with treatment-resistant melasma. According to research, laser treatment works best when prescribed along with other conventional therapies, such as chemical peels and topical whitening creams.
Some studies highlight that a reoccurrence is common even after undergoing laser therapy. However, long-term topical creams can help reduce the likelihood of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma reoccurrence.
What to Expect During the Session?
The treatment for melasma can vary depending on the type of laser used for the procedure. Typically, treatment sessions last for about 30 minutes. You will experience some pain and discomfort, usually like being snapped by a rubber band.
If you are sensitive to pain, your technician may apply a topical numbing cream before the procedure to manage the pain. After the procedure, applying cold compresses or ice packs can help reduce discomfort for the next couple of days.
Most people can return to work or resume their daily activities immediately after the treatment. Swelling and discomfort may persist for a few days after the session but will clear up gradually.
After the first laser session, you will start noticing a change in your complexion, but you will need several sessions to see the best results. Your technician will ask you to return for your second session after a couple of weeks when the treated area heals completely.
In the meantime, your technician will provide you with a prescription for topical lightening creams to help reduce the chance of a melasma reoccurrence. You must avoid prolonged sun exposure and apply a high-SPF sunblock whenever setting foot outside to protect your skin from sun damage.
Who Should Consider the Treatment?
Laser therapy is usually the third line of treatment for melasma. Topical creams and chemical peels are the first and second-line therapies, and only when they do not work may your doctor recommend laser therapy. It is suitable for anybody who wants to reduce the appearance of dark spots, patches, or fine lines on the skin. Women who develop melasma during pregnancy and don’t plan on getting pregnant again will also make good candidates for this treatment.
Melasma isn’t an uncommon skin condition, especially in women between the ages of 20 and 40 with darker tones. Compared to conventional treatments, such as chemical peels and topical creams, laser therapy can effectively offer desirable results. However, it’s essential to acknowledge that there are some risks associated with laser therapy to make an informed decision.
If you have been considering melasma treatment in Melbourne for a while, it is best to consult a professional to determine whether laser therapy is the right approach.