Laser Melasma treatment in Edmonton
What is melasma?
In Edmonton, although it might seem like being further north, we would not have a problem with sunspots and melanin, but it can happen everywhere.
Often, melasma in women is caused by the hormones of pregnancy. Those hormones spark the melanocytes to start producing melanin. The core of the issue is that our skin produces melanin unevenly.
When you get a tan, your body produces melanin wherever the sun hits it. It’s actually damaging to the cells that cause it.
WIth melasma, the body produces melanin uneven, usually on the face. This produces blotches of brown-gray skin that sometimes darkens in the sun, but never goes away. Sometimes this can happen in a small area, but often it can cover a whole cheek or chin.
How we treat melasma at Albany Laser and Cosmetic Center
There are a number of treatments for melasma. Dr. Kamal Alhallak, Doctorate in Pharmacy, will meet with you and create a plan of action that can reduce or eliminate the appearance of melasma.
He will choose from a number of treatments:
- Topical creams – We’ve created several formulas of cream that include a chemical peel, a fruit acid peel, skin lightening, and anti-tyrosinase (an enzyme that prompts the production of melanin).
- Skin peel – Using Lamyxal solution, this is an advanced form of microdermabrasion that is both mechanical peeling and anti-tyrosinase.
- Poly-peptide solution with microneedling – This will inhibit the production of melanin and reduce the appearance of the dark patches of melasma.
- Nano-second Q-switch laser – This is the workhorse laser for hyperpigmentation removal and prevention. The laser reaches below the skin to the melanocytes. Using the power of light to destroy the cells that produce the dark color, we’re able to prevent future production of the dark patches.
- Fraxel Dual Laser – This laser also reaches below the skin at different frequencies than the Q-switch. It’s able to reach into different layers of the dermis and also causes a natural skin peeling.
The goal of these treatments are typically three-fold:
- Remove the existing melanin – This is how we can get rid of the current coloration. After a few days, you’ll see a new freshness to the skin. This is accomplished using chemical and microdermabrasion to exfoliate and remove a couple of layers of skin.
- Stop melanin creation – Using lasers, Dr. Kamal can stop or reduce the production of melanin. Lasers damage the melanocytes that produce melanin, thus stopping future melasma.
- Anti-tyrosinase – This is an enzyme that is responsible for firing up the melanocytes. By reducing the production of tyrosinase, Dr. Kamal is able to help stop the production of melanin.
How long does it take to get rid of melasma with Laser Melasma treatment in Edmonton
It will vary depending on how severe the melasma is.
If your melasma is caused by sunspots, they tend to be lighter in color. They are easier to eliminate in just a couple of sessions.
On the other hand, if your melasma is caused by hormones or other deep-seated internal mechanisms, it tends to be darker and more virulent. It can take up to a couple of months and will require several different treatments options to reduce or eliminate the appearance of melasma.
“Every case of melasma is different,” said Dr. Kamal Alhallak, Doctorate in Pharmacy, of the Albany Laser and Cosmetic Center in Edmonton. “That’s why we have many different treatments. Many of our treatments, like skin creams, are exclusive formulas that I created based on my experience. Others are standard, Health Canada and FDA-approved treatments using lasers and other devices.
“The most important message that I want to put out to anyone suffering with melasma is that there are treatments. You don’t have to simply live with it. There are things that we can do to reduce or eliminate the appearance of melasma.”
Dr. Kamal is often asked if treating melasma is painful. In truth, not all of the treatments are painless, but the pain that does exist is very short-lived, usually seconds, and is bearable. Many of the treatments, though, are completely painless.
Most importantly for anyone in the Edmonton, Alberta, area is to know that Dr. Kamal can help. Often in just weeks, he can reduce or eliminate the appearance of melasma on the face, neck, and elsewhere.
The difference between melasma and hyperpigmentation for Laser Melasma treatment in Edmonton
Hyperpigmentation is a broad term for any skin condition where the skin has darker coloration in some areas versus others. It’s often exacerbated by the sun and exposure to UV rays. These spots are known colloquially as sun spots, age spots, or even freckles.
Melasma is a bit different. This is a form of hyperpigmentation that is also made worse by UV rays but is usually also affected by hormonal changes. For this reason, it’s seen most often in women, particularly those with darker skin tones. Pregnancy, oral contraceptive use, and even puberty can cause melasma to appear.
This can all make melasma harder to treat since it’s affected by hormones.
Melasma isn’t something that can be easily treated without professional help. Lightening creams are simply not powerful enough to affect hormonally caused skin color changes.