Melasma Laser Treatment

Treating Melasma with Laser Therapy

Melasma can be a difficult condition to treat. Fortunately, many laser treatments are available to help reduce the appearance of melasma.
Hyperpigmentation Infographic

  • Fractional non-ablative lasers such as Fraxel can help improve melasma by creating pinholes in the skin’s surface, stimulating collagen production and allowing the body to heal itself. This type of laser is gentle on the skin and requires minimal downtime after treatment, yet still provides noticeable results.
    Fractional ablative lasers such as Fotona offer more aggressive treatment for melasma by targeting deeper layers beneath the surface of the skin. This type of laser is more powerful than non-ablative lasers and often produces longer-lasting results with fewer treatments needed overall. However, it also carries a higher risk of side effects, and more downtime is required for recovery.
  • Short-pulsed lasers such as Spectra Laser are another option for treating melasma that works similarly to fractional ablative lasers but with more precise control over where and how much heat is delivered into the tissue. This type of laser has been used successfully on darker skin types without causing scarring or pigment changes, making it an excellent choice for those seeking an effective but safe treatment option.
  • Finally, ultra-short pulsed lasers like Picosure use ultra-fast pulses of energy that target smaller areas in a shorter amount of time while still delivering impressive results. It is less likely than other laser treatments to cause significant pain or discomfort during treatment, making it ideal for those who want fast and effective melasma reduction without worrying about long recovery times. It also works well for all skin tones, so it’s perfect for anyone looking for an effective solution regardless of their complexion.

Laser treatments are one of the most effective ways to reduce the appearance of melasma with minimal risk involved. Therefore, whether you’re looking for a gentle approach or something more aggressive, there is likely a laser solution that can help improve your condition quickly and efficiently while avoiding common side effects associated with other treatment options.

How Does Laser Reduce Melasma?

Laser treatment is a popular option for melasma sufferers looking for a more permanent solution. Two main laser mechanisms of action of laser therapy can be used to treat melasma: photoacoustic and photothermolysis.

Photoacoustic Effects

This high-energy laser beam with ultrashort pulses generates strong vibrations that shatter and cook melanin molecules; this is known as a photoacoustic effect. The melanin molecules break down into smaller particles and are cleared from the skin. Two types of short-pulsed lasers are commonly used to treat melasma: picosecond lasers and q-switch nanosecond lasers. Picosecond lasers are considered more effective than nanosecond lasers, but they also carry a higher risk of side effects. Generally, multiple sessions are needed to see significant results from laser therapy. However, many people who undergo treatment find that their melasma improves after just a few sessions. Our laser expert at Albany Cosmetic and Laser Centre in Edmonton chooses the laser settings to be selective to the darker skin only, without affecting normal skin.

Fractional Photothermolysis

Non-ablative fractional lasers were designed to address the negative effects of standard ablative lasers while still accomplishing the therapeutic objective. They do not attain the same therapeutic effectiveness as ablative agents but have a less severe side effect profile. This technology combines the efficacy of ablative and non-ablative lasers to treat disorders such as melasma. The technology generates pixilated light in three dimensions to create microthermal zones of thermal injury (MTZs). The tiny thermal injury zones allow for fast epidermal healing while also resurfacing. It is distinguished from ablative skin resurfacing by the absence of a homogeneous epidermal or dermal damaged patch.

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