How to Get Rid of Melasma on Face?

Doctor Answers 6

Combination of chemical peels and Prescription Rx great for Melasma

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Melasma can be a very frustrating problem to deal.  The most important step in combating Melasma is sunscreen.  Wearing a daily sunscreen with SPF 30 is crucial even on overcast days.  When outdoors for sporting events, beach or pool, reapplying sunscreen every two hours is key.  At our office, we have found that the best treatment for Melasma is using a combination of chemical peels and prescription strength beaching creams. Remember that not all chemical peels are created equal.  If you decide to get chemical peels make sure you are seeing a provider that has experience with these treatments and is associated with a medical practice.  For those of us with ethnic skin, we have to be even more careful which type of peels can be used.  We have a great line of chemical peels through our office from the Skin Medica line that work great for all skin types. Make sure to ask your provider specific questions about the type of chemical peels you will be receiving.

Fort Myers Dermatologist

Melasma causes and treatments - Melarase creams for skin lightening with melasma

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I regularly write and lecture about melasma.  The condition is caused by a combination of genetics, hormone exposure, sun, and inflammation. Once the condition sets in, it is difficult to 'cure.' 


I recommend the Melarase creams for melasma, as I have seen clinical improvement in my patient base. 

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

RE: How to Get Rid of Melasma On The Face

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Melasma is caused by a genetic predisposition. This is where the skin releases high amounts of melanin in response to hormonal fluctuations.  And the effects are compounded by sun exposure.  This is because melanin is a pigment that not only colors your skin, but also protects it from UV rays.

Unwanted pigmentation can be addressed through Fraxel Dual or the Q-Switched Nd:YAG laser

This energy can reach below the skin’s surface to break up cells that are producing the melanin. Your body will then carry away the waste pigment and tissue so that you see a clearer complexion.

Lasers are much safer than fading agents like topical hydroquinone, which can be toxic. The FDA has even restricted continuous use to about three months.  Also the effects of hydroquinone on melisma are usually not evident until 3-6 months. 

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

There are several treatment options for you!

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The first step in addressing this annoying problem would be to make an appointment with a physcian familiar with treating this condition. The questions they ask and exam they perform can be integral to designing a treatment plan tailored for your particular problem. Treatment options might include topical skin bleaching creams, chemical peels, microdermabrasion or laser therapy. In my practice, we've obtained amazing results with the 1927nm Thulium laser. Regardless of the treatment plan, daily sunscreen with frequent re-application is a must. Melasma tends to be a chronic, relapsing condition and sunscreen helps to reduce the frequency and severity of relapses.

Alix J. Charles, MD
Hinsdale Dermatologic Surgeon

Challenge of treating melasma and pigmentation on face

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Melasma and facial pigmentation are the most challenging skin conditions for dermatologist to treat. We need to start with strict daily sun protection, minimize any exogenous estrogen, adhere to gentle cleansing routine, and start a skin care routine and/or laser treatment that are appropriate for one's skin type under supervision of a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist. Even though IPL/photofacial laser treatment can be helpful in some cases, it can often worsen melasma. In my opinion, Nd:Yag lasers such as Spectra laser or GenesisPlus are the new standard of care for resistant melasma and facial pigmentation

William Ting, MD
Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Melasma Treatment Options

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Sun protection/avoidance is absolutely necessary in any treatment protocol for melasma.  UV rays elicit the hyperpigmentation so no matter what method is used to lighten the melasma, it can recur with one day in the sun or a tanning bed.  Also, some patients are genetically prone to developing melasma whereas others manifest it because of pregnancy or taking a medicine that induces it such as oral contraceptives.  Topical agents such as hydroquinone or retinoids can lighten melasma, whereas other patients may need a laser or other light source to eliminate the discoloration.  It is best to be evaluated by a board certified dermatologist to have a treatment plan devised for your individual situation.

Anthony Perri, MD
Houston Dermatologist

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.