Melasma (sometimes call pregnancy mask) is a very common skin condition that can affect any woman but is more prominent in darker skin types IV to VI. It can come and go due to many internal and external factors but most women agree the brown patchy pigmentation is undesirable.
At Eden Skin Clinic, the latest laser system PicoWay is the only true solution to manage melasma because the laser produces next to no heat due to it operating at the picosecond speed. Cosmelan peel is also recommended when dealing with skin types IV to VI.
What Causes Melasma – Skin Pigmentation and Sun Exposure
Skin pigmentation (melanogenesis) is a natural process where your melanocytes, a cell located in the lower epidermis basal layer, produce melanin to protect your skin against the solar radiation UVA/UVB. Melanin is produced by the oxidisation of the amino acid tyrosine. The natural process of flaking and skin renewal eliminates the melanin. Skin pigmentation disorders occur when excessive localised melanin is produced because of external (sun) or internal (hormone) influences. When these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects melanin production leading to uneven patches of lighter or darker skin. Melasma is primarily caused by a combination of sun exposure and hormonal changes (estrogen and progesterone) that stimulate the darkening of pigmentation on the skin. It appears as dark patches mainly on the face, typically on the cheekbones, forehead, upper lip and chin. Melasma is sensitive to heat, so avoid the following:
- Sun exposure on your face
- Saunas/steam rooms
- Intense exercise or activity
- IPL treatment (due to the heat generated)
- Any other heat generating treatment (lasers)
For these reasons, anyone that is affected by melasma must understand that the condition may be with the person for as long as the triggers are present. There is no cure but there are effective management treatments that become an ongoing routine. Unfortunately melasma treatment cream and especially melasma cream over the counter do not work effectively.
PicoWay- The Leading Technology To Manage Melasma
Treating the increased pigmentation is not the difficult part of the condition. Lasers can fragment the melanin. The issue is commonly laser treatments will stimulate the additional formation of pigment because of the heat. The PicoWay is the latest generation Picosecond laser and the most appropriate treatment for Melasma because of the way the laser is generated with very little heat. The unique picosecond speed of the laser creates photo-acoustic energy to clear the melasma. This means there is no heat to stimulate more melasma. This allows Eden Skin Clinic to be one of only a handful of clinics that can truly say we have a real melasma solution. Treatment protocol for melasma is based on the removal of the pigment first and then prevent the formation of new pigment. Treatment is effective for 80% of people with melasma including melasma in men. Darker skin types IV- VI do produce more melanin so additional protocols are recommended.
1. Pigment removal- Resolve
Resolve is a breakthrough technology using a holographic fractionated laser. The holographic optics generates laser speed that is so fast that Laser Induced Optic Breakdown (LIOB) occurs. This triggers tissue repair in the dermis without damaging the epidermis. The pigmentation is removed gently by the body’s immune system. This is safe and effective for skin types I-VI. For more information see pigmentation removal Sydney page.
Additional step for skin type IV-VI- Cosmelan Peel System
The Cosmelan peel is a professional depigmentation peel system. It is a two-phase process with the first step performed in the clinic. The Cosmelan 1 peel is applied to the face and left on for 6-10 hours. On the third day, the skin will have some extreme peeling. After 7 days the second step using Cosmelan 2 is applied to prevent reoccurrence. This is a tyrosinase inhibitor, which works by sedating the production of excess melanin. Cosmelan is recommended for skin type IV and above.
2. Prevention of new pigment formation- Cosmelan 2
With melasma, a regular maintenance program is essential to reduce the chances of reoccurrence. ResolveTM should be performed every 3 months. Cosmelan may be required every 6 months in severe cases. A tyrosinase inhibitor is required for as long as the person wishes to prevent the formation of new pigmentation.
Having your skin assessed by a skin expert is the first step, to ensure you know what type of pigmentation you are treating. Once you have a diagnosis, investigating and addressing the underlying causes, for example, the oral contraceptive pill or prolonged UV exposure, is the next step before progressing to treatment.
5 Key Advantages of PicoWay
- Shortest picosecond pulses – the laser is able to shatter the skin pigment to allow the immune system to clear
- No heat transfer- photoacoustic properties of the laser mean new melanin is not stimulated during treatment
- Dual wavelengths – 2 highly effective wavelengths (1064 nm & 532 nm) in one picosecond system to treat all skin types
- No discomfort
- No downtime
Free Melasma Management Consultation
The best way is to have your skin condition assessed is by a qualified clinician. At Eden Skin Clinic we offer a consultation where we can give you personalised information for you. From this, you will know how many treatments are needed, a written quote with cost and specific information you will need to follow before, during and after your treatment.
PicoWay- Frequently Asked Questions
How laser melasma treatment works
Standard pigmentation as a condition is treatable and prevention of reoccurrence is realistic. Melasma is more complicated and may require many attempts with different modalities. It can take a very long time to find the right solution for the individual, as a solution that works for one person may not work with another. Once the condition is showing results, then an ongoing multi-step program is essential to manage reoccurrence. The person that has melasma should set their expectations and understand it can be a long and expensive road to manage this very difficult condition. The improvement can vary from slight to acceptable. Eden Smoother Skin Clinic have specialists in skin management and will tailor a plan to suit your needs.
Medical grade lasers remove skin pigmentation by delivering specific wavelengths of laser light into the skin in very short bursts of picosecond pulses of energy, creating a shockwave that fragments the pigment and allows the body’s immune system to attack and eliminate the dispersed pigment. The body’s immune system removes the fragmented pigment.
How many treatments are required
The number of treatments required depends on the individual but minimum 4 treatments are required with 6 monthly maintenance. The melasma condition may come back if the underlying triggers are still present therefore the PicoWay treatment is a management solution.
What is the recovery after a treatment?
There is no downtime or discomfort. You will have some redness like a light sunburn for 24 hours. The time between treatments at should be every 4 weeks.
How much do laser skin pigmentation removal treatments cost?
The cost of your treatment will depend on many factors including the size of the melasma pigmentation area. To get a guide on price, please see the cost for melasma removal Sydney, alternatively you can book a free melasma treatment consultation to get personalised treatment information for melasma.
Melasma Treatment Before & After Photos
WHAT IS THE PRICE FOR MELASMA TREATMENT?
Resolve + PicoPigment $1049
FREE POST CARE KIT when you purchase a package of 4 or more treatments
WHAT LASER CLINICS IS PICOWAY RESOLVE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT?
This treatment is currently only available at our Liverpool, Sans Souci & Hurstville clinics.
What is the next step?
If you already have an appointment booked at Eden Laser Clinics, you can easily add a free melasma treatment consultation to your booking. If you have never been to Eden Skin Clinic, you can either give us a call on 02 80205819 or click make an enquiry or book a free consultation online now.