African American Female Melasma Treatment

I am a 49 year old light skinned African American female. I was on the Obagi system and noticed melasmi was getting lighter for about 3 months, then it just stopped working. Doctor then suggested Vi Peel which made my melasma darker which now after about 3-4 weeks melasma has gone back to its pre VI peel state. Now the doctor is suggesting a glycolic peel in increments of a low percentage and working my way up to stronger dosage. Does anything work for African Americans suffering from melasma!!! Or is it just a hit or miss???

Doctor Answers (2)

Treating melasma and dark spots on African American or Olive skin with Melarase

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My experience with African American skin and pigmentation has been positive to date.  The color and complexion of your skin is less a variable when you consider the propensity to pigmentation as the major factor.  I would begin a topical skin brightening regimen, such as Melarase AM and Melarase PM, which work well for dark complexions as well as lighter ones. Surgery90210

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Melasma Treatment for African American Skin?

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Hi 4310.  The issue is not so much your skin, but rather that Melasma is a very difficult condition to treat and manage.  While we think Obagi is a good program, it is a lower % of Hydroquinone than we typically use for problem Melasma cases.  Most of Obagi's products are 4% and we use two programs that can go as high as 8%.  We have patients stay on these programs for 3 months and then take 1 month off the Hydroquinone products.  We have about an 80% response rate for the program.  

While chemical peels are effective for exfoliation, the peel itself with do nothing for the melasma.  The peels are typically used n combination with the hydroquinone bleaching products to aid in absorption into the skin.  We use Retin A or glycolic acid products to aid in absorption of the HQ.  Hope this helps and good luck.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

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