After much research of various clinics etc, I booked an appoinment to have my melasma looked at to see if laser treatment would help. I felt very reassured by clinic, after my initial assessment I was told their was a very good chance that the laser treatment could really improve my melasma.
I had my first treatment in June 2010. The laser used was the AFT-570 Pulsed Light. I found this treatment very gentle, just a slight tingling sensation across my face. Afterwards the areas treated were slightly red, I was given a Thiospot Roller to use on the treated areas, and also an oxygenated cream to use during the day. I had my second treatment in July 2010, again using the same AFT-570, and the same after care products. Again no significant discomfort or down time. At the end of July 2010, I had another assessment at the clinic, and as I had not had any obvious improvement in the condition of my melasma, they changed the laser to a Harmony Pixel Laser.
I found this treatment very distressing. During the treatment my face was extremely hot and I did feel some pain. However, I was assured that this was quite normal. After the treatment a gel was applied. When I looked in a mirror at the clinic I burst into tears. I had these grid like patterns all over my forehead and around my eyes. The were very red and I looked just awful. I had to leave the clinic like this, and my family were totally shocked when they saw me. I looked like I had been burnt.
I persevered with the same aftercare routine as before and after about 10 days the redness did start to reduce, however, I could see that the melasma patches were actually larger than before and also darker. I visited the clinic and was again assured that this was perfectly fine and that all would settle in time, and then I would notice an improvement. It is nearly 18 months since I had this treatment, and I regret it every day. I have not had any improvement at all, just larger areas of melasma. I still had a slight grid type pattern underneath my eye. I have seeked help from a dermatologist, who told me the best thing to do would be to continue with the use of a good sunscreen, which I had been doing anyway. Any product I use on my face has sunscreen. I wear a hat during the summer months and try to stay in shaded areas. Nothing has worked for my melasma, but the worst treatment I tried was the laser.