How is it treated?
While there is no cure for melasma, many treatments have been developed. Melasma may disappear after pregnancy, it may remain for many years, or a lifetime. Sunscreens are essential in the treatment of melasma. They should be broad spectrum, protecting against both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. A SPF 30 or higher should be selected. Sunscreens should be worn daily, whether or not it is sunny outside, or if you are outdoors or indoors. A significant amount of sun exposure is received while walking down the street, driving in cars, and sitting next to windows.
A variety of bleaching creams are available for the treatment of melasma. These creams do not “bleach” the skin, but rather, decrease the activity of these pigment-producing cells. Over-the-counter creams contain low concentrations of bleach. This is often effective for mild forms of melasma.
Until recently, there has been no effective laser treatment for melasma. The recent FDA approval of the Fraxel laser for treatment of melasma is a highly effective and safe procedure for all skin types and especially for those individuals who have tried other treatments such as topical bleaching agents and peels without success.