Melasma is a harmless facial discoloration condition which affects women far more frequently than men. The condition is also called “the mask of pregnancy,” and often occurs in women during pregnancy and afterward. The melasma condition appears as a symmetrical rash with irregular borders, most often occurring on the cheeks, lips, nose, or forehead, and may also occur on the upper arms. The color of the rash can range from a dark brown to a deep gray. Melasma occurs most frequently in individuals of Asian, North African, Arab, and Hispanic descent. When it occurs in light-skinned individuals, it can be very light and difficult to correctly diagnose.
Individuals undergoing treatment for melasma must be committed to reducing their sun exposure, as well as to undergoing several sessions of treatments. The condition can also be very difficult to treat successfully, and men and women should fully discuss their expectations with their specialists prior to undergoing any procedure for melasma.
Popular procedures for the treatment of melasma include dermabrasion procedures, laser treatments, and chemical peels. In the case of peels, stronger, deeper peeling agents usually are more effective in treating the condition.
Recovery time also varies based on the procedure used, ranging from virtually no downtime with laser procedures to several days with deep chemical peels and dermabrasion.
Depending upon the type of procedure chosen, most melasma treatment procedures take about 10 to 60 minutes to successfully complete, and usually 3 to 4 sessions are required to achieve optimal results. Results vary widely based on the individual patients and the extent of the condition, and often require touchup treatments every few months to maintain the results.
The cost of melasma treatment can vary, but generally ranges from $1000 to $2000, which does not include the cost of possible retreatment or touchup procedures.
For more information on melasma and the treatment options availble to you, schedule a consultation with one of Dermanetwork's medspas or cosmetic dermatologists today.