Can the clear+brilliant laser significantly reduce my melasma? (photos)

I was told that the clear+brilliant laser could help with my melasma. Before I spend $1,400 on 5 treatments I'd like to know if this is the right approach. I've used the Obagi system, Maderma, licorice root, Bioelements Megawatt skin brightener, among other products. The Obagi system gave me small results and nothing else has worked. What would you recommend for melasma and what's the difference between melasma and hyperpigmentation? Thank you for your time

Doctor Answers 2

Treatments for Melasma

I don't believe any laser CURES melasma. I do, however, believe that lasers are useful in the treatment of melasma. Laser helps improve the hyper-pigmentation and then maintenance treatments including peels, prescription (Tri-Luma) and nonprescription (Lytera) topicals along with very good sun protection (sunscreens and blocks, hats, sunglasses, limiting sun exposure) all combined can help control melasma but it never really can be cured. My mother has melasma and I use all of the above on her. But I am constantly reminding her that sun avoidance and protection is the best treatment for melasma. Her melasma is best in the winter and worst in the summer. 

Melasma treatment

Melasma certainly presents a treatment challenge and I find
the best approach to be a combined one.  A Combination of good sun protection, skin
care, supplements and procedural interventions are all typically needed. 4%
hydroquinone is the gold standard topical intervention and I typically have
patients prime the skin for at least 2 weeks with hydroquinone before any
procedure. The clear and brilliant (particularly the permea handpiece) is a
good minimally invasive option for melasma, but sadly there is no guarantee. I
also like the 1927nm thulium laser (Fraxel dual or Fraxel re:store) as it can
target dyschromia both in the epidermis and dermis.  I would also recommend supplementing with
oral pycnogenol during and after your therapies. This is a potent OTC anti-oxidant
and anti-inflammatory that decreases the pigment intensity of melasma and can
prevent rebound hyperpigmentation post laser. I would also recommend SkinMedica's total defense and repair post treatment as it blocks UVB, UVA and Infrared light...all which contribute to recurrences of pigmentation.

Tanda Lane, MD
Columbus Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.