How Do I Get Rid of Laser Scarring, Melasma, and Hyperpigmentation? (photo)

As you can see I'm dealing with A LOT of issues on my face. To get rid of melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation I decided to do 2 photofacials (Candela laser I believe) earlier in the year. It left me with 2 burns on my upper cheek and did nothing for my melasma. I've tried hydroquinone and had no luck. I use to feel pretty but now even with loads of makeup I feel unattractive. I don't have a lot of money to spend. Thx!

Doctor Answers 5

Melasma and skin pigmentation

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Topical therapy with Melarase creams + Q switch laser can help improve your pigmentation and discoloration problems with the skin. 

Dr. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Treatments for Melasma

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I use lasers (1927nm - Fraxel Dual laser and the Spectra 1064nm Q-Switched) frequently for stubborn cases of melasma, but when using any laser or light device there is a risk of PIH, especially if proper sun protection and concomitant lightening agents are not used. I would be evaluated by a Board-certified dermatologist specializing in laser surgery for further evaluation and treatment.  The melanage peel has also shown to have nice results in melasma patients.

Sabrina Fabi, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Hydroquinone for Melasma

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Hi Patricia.  Whomever offered you IPL for your condition is not a very good clinician when it comes to Melasma.  We have seen hundreds of patients for Melasma, many of whom have had their Melasma worsen with IPL treatments.  

We use a compounded and liquid version of 8% hydroquinone, which works very well.  We have had good success even with severe cases like your own.  Try to find a practitioner around you that uses high strength HQ.  Good luck.

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

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Scarring, pigmentation, melasma

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You do have a lot of issues going on, so I hope you're under the care of a dermatologist that you trust and have a good rapport with. There are many options to review, from topical therapies (e.g. Obagi NuDerm, Lytera), to chemical peels (medical-grade), to lasers and light-based devices. Sunscreen and sun avoidance is ofcourse critical as well. With time, and the right dermatologist supporting you, no doubt things will improve. ~ Dr. Benjamin Barankin, Toronto Dermatology Centre.

Benjamin Barankin, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon


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For melasma, I would not recommend having a photofacial treatment.  Instead, try to increase the percentage of hydroquinone cream and combine it with Retin-A.  I would also encourage you to wear a good sunscreen as well. 

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 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.