Melasma is a common pigmentation disorder especially in Asian women where patches emerge in certain patterns of distribution on the facial skin, usually seen in middle-aged women or women who have recently undergone pregnancy. Most commonly in the lower section of the lower eyelids and the upper area of the cheeks.
Common places for melasma to occur include:
More than 90% of melasma cases occur in women above the age of 30. Women that live near the equator where UV exposure is higher are at a greater risk of developing melasma. Hormonal and genetic factors play a role in many cases.
It is not yet fully known exactly why melasma is caused. Doctors believe that it could be due to melanocytes (cells responsible for skin tone) in the skin malfunctioning and over producing pigmentation. Hence, people who have a darker skin tone tend to have a higher chance of developing melasma as they naturally possess more melanocytes in their skin.
Potential triggers for melasma to occur include:
It is possible for one to be genetically predisposed to developing melasma.
The QuadroStar Pro Yellow Laser is a CE and FDA-approved German-manufactured.
The main difference between the Pro Yellow laser and other types of skin rejuvenation lasers is that it has a very specific wavelength (577nm) that specifically targets both pigmentation and blood vessels. The wavelength of 577nm is good for treating Asian skin, especially those of darker skin tones as the green wavelength of 532nm seen in older machines has a significant chance of triggering hyper-pigmentation after treatment.
The Pro Yellow laser is very versatile. It is used conditions such as melasma, pigmentation, facial flushing, spider veins, post acne redness, skin brightening and rejuvenation, etc.
Due to its unique wavelength, the Pro Yellow laser is instantly absorbed into the melanin (pigments) causing the melasma and, at the very same time, is absorbed into the surrounding blood vessels. This reduces the blood supply to skin cells which are responsible for producing melasma. This greatly reduces the chance that these cells can produce pigments and ensures longer-lasting results.
With the inclusion of preparation time, each treatment session will last around 45 minutes. This treatment is generally well tolerated and is quite mild. Often, patients don’t even need the application of a topical numbing cream. The laser has been said to give a mild prickling sensation. Patients with a lower pain tolerance can be given a topical anaesthetic cream.
At times, other lasers such as Pico Laser and the Fotona Laser can be used in combination in a multi-prong approach to treating difficult melasma cases.
In general, for most cases of melasma, you will require anywhere between 4-6 treatments with around 3 weeks rest period between each treatment session for the condition to fully clear up.
After a session, the patient’s facial skin might be slightly sensitive and appear a little pink. However, there is no real downtime and the patient can resume daily activities immediately after.