What is Melasma/Hyperpigmentation?
Melasma, also known as chloasma, occurs when uneven patches of dark skin appear on the face or forearms. These tan or brownish spots typically occur evenly around the brow, nose, cheeks, or upper lip. The appearance of melasma sets it apart from other skin conditions that cause dark patches on the skin. Melasma is not at all uncommon and is found more frequently in women. It may be due to sun damage or by hormonal fluctuations, such as with pregnancy and menopause. Individuals with darker skin types are far more inclined to melasma compared to people with lighter complexions. Dr. S. Darrell Lee treats melasma regularly at Lee Plastic Surgery and Laser Center in Port St. Lucie, FL where we offer a number of treatments that can minimize the visibility of the cosmetic condition. Using the Q-Switched Nd:YAG by Lumenis M22™ laser system, Dr. Lee is able to greatly reduce the appearance of melasma for an overall, more even complexion. The Q-Switched laser system works by targeting a specific area to reduce pigmentation. The small handheld device will be applied to the area of melasma while the laser energy is emitted. Learn more about this innovative treatment option by contacting our Port St. Lucie facility for a consultation.
The Q-Switched Laser System
At Lee Plastic Surgery and Laser Center, our team utilizes the Q-Switched laser system for both melasma treatment and for effective tattoo removal. The technology works by breaking down pigment, which makes it a great option for both of these procedures. Effective on even black tattoo ink, the Q-Switched laser is safe and effective and has various attachment sizes to target even the smallest of areas. This innovative technology is effective for the treatment of hyperpigmentation on even the darker skin types, including types III, IV, and V on the Fitzpatrick scale.
"Absolutely the most kind, caring and patient staff and Dr Lee is amazing. He is so good at what he does. I've had a few procedures done both in office and at surgery center. I'd recommend Dr Lee to anyone who is looking for a board certified plastic surgeon. I'm so thankful to have chosen them!"- A. / Healthgrades / Feb 09, 2019
"Highly recommend Dr. Lee and his staff to anyone and everyone :):)"- B. / Google / Aug 08, 2020
"Dr Lee Did a Fantastic job closing me up when I had the Flesh eating bacteria. In 2006. He is great no BETTER."- J.S. / Google / Oct 04, 2019
"Dr Lee and his staff were very professional, I am very pleased with the outcome. It was a very pleasant experience I highly recommend them for any facial procedure that you may need."- V.D. / Google / Oct 19, 2022
"Everyone in the office is very nice and professional."- P.S. / Google / Oct 13, 2022
Causes of Melasma
The specific cause of melasma remains unknown. Experts think that the dark patches in melasma may be caused by various factors, including race, hormone fluctuations, family history of the condition, or anti-seizure medications, along with other medications that make the skin more susceptible to pigmentation after exposure to UV rays. Excess sunlight exposure is considered the main cause of melasma, especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to this condition. Clinical studies have shown that individuals normally develop melasma in the summertime when the sunlight is the most intense. In the winter, the hyperpigmentation will become less visible or milder.
Symptoms of melasma
Melasma is recognized by the discoloration or hyperpigmentation primarily on the face. Three types of ordinary facial patterns have been identified in those with melasma:
- Centrofacial (center of your face) – hyperpigmentation amid the nose, chin, forehead, cheeks, and upper lip
- Malar (cheekbones) – melasma patterns around the upper cheeks
- Mandibular (jawbone) – hyperpigmentation parallel with the jaw
Melasma Treatment Options
At Lee Plastic Surgery and Laser Center, Dr. Lee and his team utilize the advanced Q-Switched laser technology to effectively treat melasma. Prior to the treatment, you will lie comfortably in one of our spacious treatment rooms. The treatment area will be thoroughly cleansed, and the handheld Q-Switched device will be applied to the skin as the heated energy is emitted. Since the Q-Switched system disperses heat and energy evenly, it is safe, effective, and minimizes any epidermal damage. Once the entire treatment is complete, you will able to return to your normal daily activities. However, for many patients, a series of treatments may be ideal to achieve the desired results. During your consultation, you can talk with Dr. Lee and our team about the number of treatments that may be beneficial for you.
Plan Your Procedure
Get a Professional Diagnosis
If you are affected by melasma and are tired of trying to conceal it with makeup, or if you spend extra money on store-bought remedies that do not offer you the results that you desire, we welcome you to contact Lee Plastic Surgery and Laser Center to schedule a consultation. Melasma needs a specialized diagnosis so that the perfect treatment can be provided. If the incorrect treatment is applied, the skin might become darker. Dr. Lee can correctly diagnose and address melasma to supply you with a wonderful result through advanced laser treatment.