Melasma is a facial hyperpigmentation condition popularly known as the “mask of pregnancy,” and it is one of the most frequent reasons for consultations both in aesthetic medicine and dermatology. This condition is usually chronic, recurrent, and is characterized by the appearance of circumscribed light-brown spots in areas often exposed to the sun (the cheeks, back of the nose, forehead, and upper lip). It is more common in women than in men and in brown-skinned people living in tropical areas.
The causes of melasma are not fully understood; however, its appearance has been associated with the interaction of multiple triggering factors such as genetic influences, hormonal changes, and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The most important factor contributing to the appearance of this dermatosis is exposure to ultraviolet rays. With respect to female sex hormones, both estrogen and progestogen have been implicated in its development. In fact, melasma is present in 90% of women who have been pregnant, as that is a period in which women are exposed to intense hormonal changes.
There is no doubt that keeping your face free of spots and wrinkles will make you look younger and radiant. Fortunately, in our health center we have the latest technology and equipment to remove skin blemishes permanently, effectively, and safely without risks! The following are some of the most commonly used therapeutic methods to remove skin blemishes.
The Fotona Spectro SP laser system is an ideal tool for treating a wide variety of pigmented skin lesions, ranging from nevi (moles) and vascular lesions to ephelides, sunspots, and melasma. In addition, this technique also helps to eliminate wrinkles and sagging skin. Therefore, it is ideal for people over the age of 40 who wish to eliminate the signs of photoaging.
The technique utilizes infrared waves to reach the deepest layers of the skin, thus destroying the pigments that cause these unwanted spots which are then eliminated by the skin’s defense cells. This system has the advantage of having a high specificity that works to destroy only the pigments and not the healthy cells. This allows the stains to be removed without injuring the skin, thus providing superior clinical results, greater patient comfort, faster recovery, and less downtime.
It is also important to mention that Fotona Laser treatment can be performed safely and effectively on any area of the body.
The fractional CO2 laser is a new facial rejuvenation technique that has revolutionized the market due to its great effectiveness and safety in the treatment of blemishes, wrinkles, scars, stretch marks, and other skin abnormalities.
The fractional CO2 laser uses carbon dioxide gas and a heat source together to penetrate the deepest layer of the skin (dermis), stimulating the synthesis of collagen fibers and fibroblasts and rejuvenating the skin. This effect results in smooth, wrinkle-free skin.
The equipment used generates energy with a wavelength below the infrared spectrum that is assimilated by the water contained in the skin tissues, thus vaporizing the injured cells.
The fractional application of the laser allows the laser to selectively destroy the affected cells without damaging the surrounding tissue. In addition, it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which allows the cell regeneration process to begin and results in healthy, smooth, and radiant skin.
The CO2 laser treatment currently used is less ablative and therefore does not have the side effects of previous equipment such as prolonged redness of the skin, peeling, discoloration changes, risk of infection, etc.
Treatment usually requires 3 to 4 procedures at approximately 3 to 4 week intervals.
Calibrated pulsed light
Calibrated pulsed light acts by emitting soft pulses of light energy on the skin that is then absorbed by the melanin and transformed into heat, generating a selective photothermolysis technique in which only the pigmented cells are destroyed without damaging neighboring tissues. This is due to the fact that the equipment used allows the transmission of infrared light pulses with a duration of less than 5 nanoseconds. Since the pulse is much shorter than the thermal relaxation time of the tissue, this ensures that the affected area rapidly increases its temperature and does not transfer this energy to the surrounding tissue. In other words, it makes it possible to eliminate lesions without overheating or damaging the healthy perilesional tissue.
The particles fragmented by the laser pulses are consequently eliminated by the skin’s cleansing cells (phagocytosis) and by lymphatic drainage. The development of this technology has made it possible to remove pigmented epidermal and dermal lesions from the skin as well as tattoos.
Calibrated pulsed light can be used on various regions of the body, including sensitive areas such as the face, neck, décolleté, hands, chest, and arms.
It is important to keep in mind that the wavelength to be used will depend on the type of lesion that needs to be removed. The sessions usually last one hour. The number of sessions depends on the case to be treated, but in general a minimum of three to four applications are required (one per month).
Depigmenting creams eliminate skin blemishes by destroying and blocking the formation of melanin in the tissues. Their effect depends on the lesions to be treated and must be combined with the regular use of sunscreens.
These creams usually achieve very effective results in the elimination of solar lentigines, melasma, and post-inflammation spots that usually appear after acne, burns, or eczema. In addition, these creams can be an important complement after the application of some aesthetic treatments to eliminate spots.
The most effective depigmentation creams are those based on hydroquinone, corticoids, retinoids, kojic acid, and cosmetic products such as hydroxyphenoxypropionic acid, ellagic acid, and tranexamic acid. Antioxidant products such as vitamin C and ferulic acid that protect against the action of free radicals are also very useful.
Post-treatment care for skin blemishes
After you have completed treatments for your skin blemishes, it is vitally important to maintain your prescribed skincare routine. The instructions are usually very simple, but you should always do what the treating doctor tells you to do.
- Do not expose yourself to the sun for a while. Sunscreen should be used if the treatment has been performed on unprotected areas such as the face. Normally, this advice should be followed during the first 6 to 8 weeks after the therapy to avoid the appearance of new spots on the sensitive skin that is in the process of recovery.
- Practice very good skin hygiene in the treated area. Use lukewarm and cold water, neutral soap or soap for sensitive skin, and moisturize the skin with mild, fragrance-free products.
- If you notice any problems such as stinging, itching, redness, or blisters shortly after treatment, return to the doctor immediately.
- It is typical to have a check-up visit 2 or 3 days after treatment, but this will depend on the specialist.