Sunday, December 25, 2016

What are new treatment options for Melasma and dark spots on face?


Q: "I have a dark spot on my left cheek, my dermatologist says it's Melasma, the hydroquinone cream didn't help what are my options?" Melinda from San Antonio

A: Dr. Reza F Ghohestani, M.D., Ph.D., a renowned dermatologist, and Director of Texas Institute of Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery in San Antonio

Melasma is characterized by presence of dark brown spots on sun exposed areas mainly cheeks, upper lip, chin and forehead.  

Melasma and darkening of skin usually develops over the time and its very common in San Antonio and Boerne area. Why some develop Melasma is uncertain. Melasma in South Texas (San Antonio, Boerne) area is more common in Hispanics and Asians and also those with darker skin types.

 In addition to Sunlight, sex hormones are also implicated. Melasma typically occurs after pregnancy or after longterm use of oral contraceptive pills. Other factors that may have a role in development of Melasma include some photosensitizing meds, thyroid or ovarian diseases, and importantly certain cosmetic products. Melasma is rare in young women. Less than 10% of Melasma cases are Men. Pigmentation seen in other diseases such as Addison disease, photosensitivity skin reactions, Discoid Lupus, Mastocytosis and Poikiloderma.

Successful treatment of Melasma requires years of experience. Dr. Ghohestani and his research team at Texas Institute of Dermatology have recently developed I-Bright, a revolutionary laser package for Melasma and dark spots. For more information on I-Bright, please click here

Before development of I-Bright, people had to use topical hydroquinine cream 2-4%, Azelaic Acid, Tretinoin, cryotherapy or a chemical peel without noticing a significant improvement. 
Chemical peels and laser if its not used by an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon may cause a number of potential side effects, such as scar formation or hyper pigmentation. Isolated studies suggest that Laser Q-switched 1064-nm Nd:YAG or Fractional Co2 laser can be effective. However, according to Dr. Ghohestani, nothing is comparable to I-Bright for successful treatment of Melasma. Strict Sun avoidance and using a sunblock that contains Titanium or Zinc Oxide is highly recommended before, during and after the treatment. For more information on Texas Institute of Dermatology- San Antonio Laser Clinic, please click here

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