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Melasma: Causes and Treatment Options

Melasma is a common skin condition characterized by brown or grayish-brown patches on the face, typically on the cheeks, forehead, chin, and upper lip. It is more commonly seen in women and individuals with darker skin types. The exact cause of melasma is not fully understood, but it is believed to be triggered by a combination of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, and sun exposure. Other factors that can contribute to the development of melasma include pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and certain medications.

Consulting with a board-certified doctor like Dr. Greta McLaren for melasma treatment is highly recommended for several reasons. Firstly, they have the expertise and experience needed to accurately diagnose melasma and distinguish it from other skin conditions that may resemble it. Secondly, they can offer a range of treatment options that are tailored to the specific needs of each patient. This may include topical medications, chemical peels, laser therapy, or a combination of these treatments.

Skin Secrets by Dr. Greta McLaren have access to the latest technology and research in the field of dermatology, and are trained to provide safe and effective treatment. They can also provide ongoing care and support to ensure that the condition is properly managed over time.

Treatment Options for Melasma

Wearing sunscreen with a high SPF and avoiding sun exposure can help to prevent the worsening of melasma.

Sun protection is an essential component in the treatment and prevention of melasma, a common skin condition characterized by brown or gray patches on the face. Exposure to sunlight is one of the main triggers of melasma, and protecting the skin from UV rays can help prevent the condition from worsening and promote healing.

By practicing sun protection, individuals with melasma can help prevent the condition from worsening and reduce the appearance of existing patches.

Obagi C®Obagi Rx System Normal to Dry

A chemical solution is applied to the skin, which causes the outer layer of skin to peel off. This can help to lighten the patches of melasma. Chemical peels can be an effective treatment for melasma, a common skin condition characterized by brown or gray-brown patches on the face.

Chemical peels involve applying a solution to the skin that contains one or more types of acids, such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs). These acids work by breaking down the bonds between the cells in the top layers of the skin, allowing them to be removed more easily.

 A minimally invasive procedure that uses a device to exfoliate the outer layer of skin, helping to improve the texture and appearance of melasma.

Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that involves the use of a special device to gently exfoliate the skin’s surface. While it may help to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage, it may not be the best treatment for melasma.

Different types of lasers can be used to resurface the skin and stimulate collagen production, which can help to reduce the appearance of melasma.

Laser therapy works by using intense pulses of light to target and break up the pigmentation in the affected areas of the skin. The light energy is absorbed by the melanin in the skin, causing it to heat up and break apart. This process stimulates the body’s natural healing response, leading to the gradual fading of the melasma patches over time.

There are several types of lasers that can be used for melasma treatment, including fractional lasers, Q-switched lasers, and intense pulsed light (IPL) devices. Your dermatologist will determine the best type of laser therapy for your specific case based on factors such as your skin type and the severity of your melasma.

BroadBand Light

Morpheus8 delivers energy to the skin’s injured superficial layers. This aids in the reduction of hyperpigmented skin regions, such as those displaying symptoms of aging or melasma. It also brightens your skin’s complexion, enhances its luminosity, tone, and texture, and aids in pore reduction.


CoolPeel is a type of carbon dioxide (CO2) laser treatment that targets the top layers of skin to stimulate collagen production and enhance skin renewal. This process could potentially help to diminish the appearance of melasma, a skin condition that causes brown to gray-brown patches, usually on the face. The way it may treat melasma can be understood in the following ways:

  1. Skin Resurfacing: CoolPeel, being a type of CO2 laser treatment, helps in skin resurfacing. It works by removing the top layers of the skin, where the pigmentation caused by melasma is located. When these layers peel off, they are replaced with new, healthier skin cells, potentially reducing the appearance of melasma.
  2. Collagen Production: By stimulating collagen production, CoolPeel may also improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. This could potentially result in a more even skin tone, helping to reduce the contrast between the normal skin and the patches of melasma.
Cool peel before


Cool peel after


Dr. Greta McLaren has undergone extensive training in both cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. She is a laser Surgeon and aesthetic medicine specialist who is considered an expert and has been invited to teach her aesthetic skills nationally to other physicians throughout the United States. She is a member of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, and American Society for Photodynamic Therapy.

Message Skin Secrets today or call us at 239-800-SKIN(7546) to schedule your complimentary consultation.