Laser, Obagi Nuderm, or Skin Medica Lytera? (photo)

I have had 2 BBL photofacial and haven't really seen that much difference with my pigmentation issues. I am now considering either the Obagi Nuderm, Skinmedica Lytera, or a laser to treat my sun damage and hopefully bad texture. Which would be best to start out with?

Doctor Answers 5

Sun damage and texture concerns

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In order to achieve the results you desire, it would be to your benefit to pursue a multi-layer approach. In office treatments coupled with an appropriate home care regimen  and CONSISTENCY are key to achieving your skin care goals. Obagi Nu-Derm is a great starter(and maintenance) home care regimen that will address pigment and provide improvement in your overall tone and texture.  In office, we often combine IPL treatments with nonablative fractional laser resurfacing to address the pigment and texture in a single treatment. A series of 3-5 treatments(based on your degree of desired correction) will yield optimal results.  

Pigment and texture issues require maintenance since pigment has memory and the aging process does not stop. Therefore, discuss with your practitioner a maintenance program tailored to your concerns and lifestyle(i.e. a series of chemical peels, microneedling, Vit C treatments, etc).

Remember, CONSISTENCY in home care, in-office treatments and communication between you and your physician(or aesthetician) will allow for treatment modifications to help you achieve your best results as you progress towards your skin care goals. 

Melarase and photofacials for the face

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Our office specializes in IPL facials in Los Angeles. We use a combination protocol for our photofacials that includes application of creams before and after the photofacial session. The combination of IPL + creams allows for a more definitive improvement in surface sun damage, complexion, photoaging, and solar lentigenes.


Photofacials help improve brown discoloration and broken capillaries that cause surface redness on the skin. Brown discoloration can further be improved with application of Melarase creams twice daily (Melarase AM and Melarase PM).


Downtime is relatively minimal compared to other treatments. Our office employs the Limelight technology and we feel this is an excellent modality in terms of its safety and efficacy.




Dr. Karamanoukian 

Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

BBL & Lytera: Great Combo for Pigment Reduction

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Treatments in addition to products like BBL photofacials and SkinMedica's Lytera are great plans for hyper-pigmentation.  For tone and texture, you may want to look in to laser resurfacing or micro-needling (dermapen) for better results. Penetrating the skin on a deeper, more aggresive level assuming you are the correct skin tone, may be a quicker route for better skin.

Dr. Ritacca

Daniel J. Ritacca, MD
Chicago Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Options for pigmentation

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We like IPL, Obagi and SkinMedica's Lytera but also recommend Clear+Brilliant Laser, Fraxel Dual and SkinMedica Vitalize Peels to lighten pigmentation.  There are pro's and con's to each.  Obagi Nu Derm, for example, has way too many steps for most people and is very costly, so we are now recommending Lytera which achieved equal results in a head-to-head study with Obagi, but with only 2 steps and less than half the cost for a kit.  We recommend all our patients who wish to lighten pigmentation treat at home with either a hydroquinone product such as Obagi, or with Lytera, either by itself or to prepare for and then maintain after an in office treatment.  We also like Elure Lightening Lotion to breakdown pigmentation, if a treatment is not being done in the office.  

Lorrie Klein, MD
Laguna Niguel Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews

Treating hyperpigmentation and melasma

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We use BBL, Obagi NuDerm and Lytera in our clinic, all with very nice results, but patient selection is critical. If you have flat brown spots and some redness and/or blood vessels, then BBL is a very nice option. If you have melasma or post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation, then Obagi NuDerm is terrific, or for more sensitive skin Lytera is quite good. Both will help even out your skin tone and make your skin glow. All have a role, best to speak with your dermatologist for the best option for you, which sometimes means doing a few different types of treatments. ~ Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.