Laser Failure - United Kingdom

After much research of various clinics etc, I...

After much research of various clinics etc, I booked an appoinment to have my melasma looked at to see if laser treatment would help. I felt very reassured by clinic, after my initial assessment I was told their was a very good chance that the laser treatment could really improve my melasma.

I had my first treatment in June 2010. The laser used was the AFT-570 Pulsed Light. I found this treatment very gentle, just a slight tingling sensation across my face. Afterwards the areas treated were slightly red, I was given a Thiospot Roller to use on the treated areas, and also an oxygenated cream to use during the day. I had my second treatment in July 2010, again using the same AFT-570, and the same after care products. Again no significant discomfort or down time. At the end of July 2010, I had another assessment at the clinic, and as I had not had any obvious improvement in the condition of my melasma, they changed the laser to a Harmony Pixel Laser.

I found this treatment very distressing. During the treatment my face was extremely hot and I did feel some pain. However, I was assured that this was quite normal. After the treatment a gel was applied. When I looked in a mirror at the clinic I burst into tears. I had these grid like patterns all over my forehead and around my eyes. The were very red and I looked just awful. I had to leave the clinic like this, and my family were totally shocked when they saw me. I looked like I had been burnt.

I persevered with the same aftercare routine as before and after about 10 days the redness did start to reduce, however, I could see that the melasma patches were actually larger than before and also darker. I visited the clinic and was again assured that this was perfectly fine and that all would settle in time, and then I would notice an improvement. It is nearly 18 months since I had this treatment, and I regret it every day. I have not had any improvement at all, just larger areas of melasma. I still had a slight grid type pattern underneath my eye. I have seeked help from a dermatologist, who told me the best thing to do would be to continue with the use of a good sunscreen, which I had been doing anyway. Any product I use on my face has sunscreen. I wear a hat during the summer months and try to stay in shaded areas. Nothing has worked for my melasma, but the worst treatment I tried was the laser.

Laserase

Before treatment the clinic was very professional, however now as I have had treatment and it has been a complete disaster, all they can offer is skin bleaching, more laser etc, all of which I have declined.

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But why airbrush when you can get rid of most of the melasma? I dont wear any makeup anymore. And who wants to wear makeup in the heat? Summer is here. All I use is mascara, fill in my brows a little, sunscreen and gloss for my lips. I'm done. It only took me a few months and a couple days a week now for maintenance.
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But how did you get rid of your melasma to do that??
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Have you read my page? If not, please read it and take a look at my before and after pics. If you would like you can also ask Brittany who just started the Obagi products t hi is past week now and she is already seeing results. She sent me a text with a photo. Please just read my page and get back to me. Have a great day.
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I just finished a series of 3 Pixel treatments, scheduled 4 weeks apart with the Harmony laser, and it GREATLY reduced my melasma. I had treatments on my entire face and my skin has never looked better. I was also prescribed Groot (a prescription skin lightener) to use on my face after it healed and that has also done wonders on my skin. Every one I know complements me all the time on how good my face and skin look. If you have melasma, that is something you will battle forever, you're constantly keeping it a bay. But skin resurfacing laser treatments like the Pixel and chemical peels certainly help, as do periodic use of skin lighteners. I'm not a fan of IPL treatments for melasma because the heat can sometimes make it worse.
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I had this as well!! VRM by Dr. Daniel Yip... is that what you had too? Mine has VANISHED
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Yes heat is not Melasma's friend. My Melasma worsens even if I'm hot w/o sunlight WHAT! I'm so distraught about it nothing but nothing is working for me WHY
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Im so confused about these IPL treatments! I got some melisma on my cheek bones at the end of my last pregnancy. I had a photo facial done about 4 mos post partum and it complete took it away!!! But then 2 mos later is fully came back. So I recently had it done again but it looks the same if not a little worse. Why did the laser help once but not the next time??

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Do not do peels...you will permanently damage your skin. It isn't made for women with melanoma. All the research I've done it's only made the problem worse. We have a pigmentation problem that needs to be addressed. See my before and after photos. You can see my results. No peels for me.
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First of all, melanoma is cancer and not the same thing as melasma. Gentle chemical peels do not "ruin your skin forever" and has been a favorite source for treating melasma by aestheticians and doctors for years. Peels increase the cell turnover rate which helps to get rid of the melasma/hyperpigmentation that's present. I'm a licensed cosmo/medical esti and your claims are not accurate. Peels are a great alternative to those who can't afford laser treatments. Aggressive peels or treatments can cause irritation for anyones skin & I'd advise against going to any practitioner who approach treating skin that way. To anyone treating melasma, be sure to ALWAYS wear a UVA & UVB protective sunblock & keep your face out of the sun, or it will continue to get worse. During the summer I wear double sunblock and wide brimmed hats while outdoors.
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I have melasma not melanoma. Yes I am aware of the difference in the two. I have asked many women with melasma of their results with the peels and have stated it looks like it worked at the start but ended up worsening the condition. I did much research prior to applying any harsh chemicals to my face. I was afraid of making a bad situation worse. I meant no disrespect to your profession. It is just what I have experienced and researched. I am more than ecstatic with my results and yes I too agree with you it will be an on going battle which requires daily applications of sun block and large brimmed hats.
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Your nu derm & retin-a are pretty much doing what chem peels do. A lot of people don't follow the post peel instructions, don't take care of their skin and then blame the product or treatment. I love them, but different things work for different people. It's a lot easier keeping melasma at bay depending on where you live too. Mine completely went away living in the pacific northwest, but once I moved back to the desert it came back in full effect lol. If you found a physician you trusted, you may like the results peels can offer :)
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Yes I agree. It is harder to keep the melasma at bay when you are in the hotter climates. I keep teasing my husband and tell him we're moving to Seattle just so I can enjoy the outdoors again. I miss just standing in the sun and looking up to feel the warmth. Haven't done that in nearly two years. This just s**** sometimes.
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Has anyone ever tried an exoderm peel? Very expensive but I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of melasma. I relate to so many of you. My childrens friends have asked me, What's wrong with your face...even with makeup on :(. There has to be a cure not just a treatment!
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I am about to turn 41 in a few days and I have lived with my Malasma for about 4 years now. I am wondering if anyone has tried (and had luck with) Meladerm? I would like to give it a try, but it is a little costly so was hoping someone here has tried it?

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I did; two pump bottles. Meladerm did not fade my melasma at all; very disappointing. I also had pixel treatments (in conjunction with Obagi products); those tx showed some fading but the discoloration returned. Triluma was a total waste of $s and efforts as well; the same for IPL. However, what failed to work for me may work wonders for another person. I sincerely hope you find a product/treatment that work for you. Wear SUNSCREENS (yes, plural)! :)
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I got melasma from pregnancy and sunscreen seems to be the only thing that will at least stop it from getting worse, thanks for the info about what you've tried to make it better.  Right now I'm using Rodan & Fields Reverse skincare system which is for sun damage and they claim will help with melasma but I haven't seen any difference.  I'm thinking about doing some light chemical peels and getting a Rx for retin-A to see if that helps!  Good luck to all of you looking for a solution!

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I havent used Meladerm, but i have had 1 ipl treatment 3 weeks ago and have been using Obagi Nu Derm for 4 weeks. I can barley tell I have melasma now. I'm also taking supplements and have 2 more IPL treatments. I'm sooo happy with the results!
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What supplements are you taking?

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3000mg MSM (2000 morning, 1000 night) 500mg GSE (250 morning, 250 night) 1000 Vitamin C 150mg pycnogenol (50 morning, 100 night) Multi-Vitamin Sounds excessive, but I will do anything to get rid of this. I also just ordered Heliocare pills from walgreens (its buy one get one half off). Its crazy because I live in Florida and i'm so scared to go in the sun! I use 50+ SPF Skin Medica.
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IF you decide to use the Obagi make sure you get the Refissa (tretinonin) I use the 0.05% anything stronger and my skin will look as red as an apple! with the low % I really don't have much redness, just around the mouth.
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The Reverse regimen will definitely work for your melasma!! I have personally seen a transformation on 3 diff gals suffering from that! Keep using it and make sure u use each product- it WILL work :)-
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what kind of supplements are you taking?

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my daughter and I both have melasma bare minerals brand face powder does wonders for hiding it i am really grateful for your posts my daughter was fortunate enough to have a consult / take part in a research study at a teaching hospital in NC where they tried tiny spots with laser none of the treatments helped at all and they said the current lasers are just not there for making melasma better good luck ladies...you're all beautiful :)

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I think the after photo looks good - but I don't know what you looked like when you started. I would not have noticed any discoloration if I had not looked for it.

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