Cosmelan Vs IPL for Sun Damage?

The medical director of the medspa I frequent recommended IPL for the hyperpigmentation and sun damage on my decollette.  But I have also heard good things about Cosmelan for this type of problem and I'm wondering if I should try it instead.  My medspa doesn't offer this treatment, so I couldn't really get any information about it from them. Can someone tell me if Cosmelan is good for treating sun damage on the decollette?  Is it better than IPL?  Is there some other option that would work better with minimal downtime?

Doctor Answers 3

Cosmelan or IPL for Melasma: What is the ideal treatment for melasma

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Melasma is a chronic condition characterized by abnormal and patchy deposition of melanin in the skin. It is influenced by hormones, genetics, and the sun, among other things.

Although melasma cannot be cured, it can be treated effectively. There is no single treatment that is ideal for melasma. Rather, patients with this condition should consider topical products prescribed by an experienced and board certified physician.

I treat melasma regularly in my office and have used IPL, Cosmelan, and other prescription topical products effectively. The treatment is multi-dimensional and consists of education and regimented treatment.

IPL is better than Cosmelan for sun damage

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Definitely IPL is better for sun damage, but even better is Fraxel Restore. Cosmelan adresses more superficial pigment issues in a gentle way, and it takes long time to see results.

Q-switched lasers for sun damage

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We do not recommend Cosmelan or IPL treatments for sun damage as both are temporary solutions. The easiest way to describe why you should consider q-switched lasers for sun damage is that they are used to remove birthmarks, tattoos, flat moles and other skin conditions that remain unaffected by Cosmelan and/or IPL treatments. In other words, if q-switched lasers can remove a tattoo, they can certainly (and permanently) remove your sun spots, whereas IPL and Cosmelan do not have a permanent effect on sun damage.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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.