Posted On Jan 07, 2011
Whether you suffer from those brown patchy spots on your face (a.k.a., melasma) or simply have an uneven pigment (dispigmentation/hyperpigmentation) you’re unhappy with, the cosmetic dermatologist can offer your skin an effective path to uniformity with products, lasers or both.
Typically, Manjula Jegasothy, MD, a Miami, Fla-based dermatologist, begins with the easiest possible solution first, she reported at recent industry meeting Cosmetic Surgery Forum 2010 in Las Vegas. Yup. Medical-grade topical products, particularly for darker-skinned patients. Sometimes these alone can produce very good results on their own. (And if that’s all you need, you just saved yourself a bundle on high-tech treatments!)
Products she mentioned as first-line contenders include:
- Hydroquinone-containing products (Glytone Clarifying Skin Bleaching Cream, Topix Skin Lightening Cream, Clinician’s Complex Bleaching Cream)
- Non-hydroquinone containing Products (Lumixyl) or antioxidant-containing products (with azalaic acid, green tea or polyphenols)
- Soy-based bioidentical hormones (find a doctor who specializes in hormone therapy)
Combine with microdermabrasion, peels and/or lasers in the dermatologist’s office to take results to the next level (if needed).
It’s important to note that most dermatologists won’t even treat you for skin pigmentation issues unless you commit to making a lifestyle change that includes a full-spectrum sun block, or better yet, staying out of the sun, period.
(Personally, I wear IS Clinical’s SPF25 Treatment Sunscreen daily.)
As far as results and patient expectations go, Heidi Waldorf, a dermatologist in NYC says, “It’s a toss of the dice when treating melasma.” Vivian Bucay, MD, a dermatologist in San Antonio, agrees, pointing out that she doesn’t over treat her patients because melasma ultimately comes back. Unfortunately, it’s not something you can get rid of completely—treatments are simply a way of minimizing the appearance.
From the Editor’s Desk…