How does the laser work?
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.
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.
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.