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Skin Wellness 

Center for Advanced Dermatology and Laser

Melasma Treatments

Quick Fix and Clinically Effective Melasma Treatments by Skin Wellness

Topical Treatments

Glycolic Acid Peel

Mandelic Acid Peel

Spanish Peel

Diamond Peel with Arbutin Whitening Infusion

Laser Whitening Treatments

Treatments for melasma (darker than normal skin occurring in patches)

Plain language summary

Melasma is a psychologically distressing skin disorder also known as ‘chloasma’ or ‘mask of pregnancy’. Darker patches of skin gradually develop on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and upper lip. It is more common in women and is associated with pregnancy and medication containing hormones. Melasma is divided into three types: epidermal, dermal, and mixed melasma. Epidermal melasma is the most superficial with an increase in the skin pigment (melanin) in the top layer of skin (epidermis). In dermal melasma, there is increased skin pigment in the second deeper layer of the skin (the dermis). Mixed melasma is a combination of epidermal and dermal melasma.

Conventional treatments for melasma include sunscreens, bleaching creams (e.g. hydroquinone), acne creams (e.g. azelaic acid), topical retinoids (e.g. tretinoin), and facial peels where an acid solution is used to remove outer layers of the skin (e.g. glycolic acid peels). Some treatments incorporate a combination approach such as triple‐combination cream (hydroquinone, tretinoin, and steroid). There is inadequate information available at present to determine the best treatment for melasma.

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