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New Laser Treatment of Melasma

you have dark patches on the face, you could be one of the millions of women
struggling with melasma. Commonly found among Asian women, melasma is
considered the most difficult to treat among the disfiguring hyperpigmentation

are basically three types: the epidermal melasma, found in the outer layer of
the skin; the dermal melasma, existing in the inner skin layer; and the
combination type. Melasma is associated with age, hormonal factors, stress, genetic
predisposition, pregnancy, use of oral contraception, and sun exposure.

Topical therapies such as bleaching agents
(hydroquinone and kojic acid) and chemical peels (retinol and TCA), have been
used but with limited success. The results are inconsistent and their effectiveness
decreases with long-term use. Dermal melasma does not respond at all to any
topical treatment.

Intense pulsed light (IPL) has also been used
in recent years, but the results were less than expected. There were also
reports of side effects related to IPL damage to the skin, particularly
post-inflammatory secondary hyperpigmentation (PIH).

SkinStation, we recently introduced DERMAX Medlight laser as an effective treatment
of melasma. The laser used in MedLight is Q-Switched Nd:YAG,  which has produced successful results in
several controlled clinical trials in Korea.

MedLight laser creates an invisible beam of light that is pulsed repeatedly at
a fraction of a second. The pigments in the dark patches of the skin are
fragmented and subsequently reabsorbed over a 6 to 8 week period. This
treatment is simple, non-invasive, with minimal risk and minimal recovery time.
Some patients may feel a mild “sunburn” feeling that quickly subsides.

is also effective in other hyperpigmentation concerns such as age
spots, chemical burns, and marks caused by acne and chicken pox. Added benefits
of skin toning and rejuvenation have been observed. On the average, 3 sessions at
intervals of 4 weeks is prescribed, followed by maintenance treatments every 3
to 6 months.

treatment, our Dermatologist will require you to strictly avoid sun exposure.
You will also be asked to follow a medical grade skin care regimen that will
lighten, rejuvenate, and protect the skin. Our goal is to help you successfully
minimize and manage your melasma.


This column was published in the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section on October 28, 2014 . The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. Skin Smart aims to clarify facts and myths on skin care. Send your questions and comments to  

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