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Julie - posted on 06/22/2010
Allison, this is what I found on line
Over the years, various treatments developed to treat melasma including:
* Chemical peels. The most commonly used acid compounds to remove melasma include trichloroacetic acid, azelaic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid and various fruit extracts. Stronger peeling agents tend to have a higher effectiveness rate than lighter strength peeling agents. Stronger peeling agents may also carry the risk of side effects such as burning, skin peeling, scarring and even worsening the skin discoloration.
* Skin lightening agents. There are many skin lightening agents on the market and the most commonly used is hydroquinone. Numerous other agents sold in herbal and nutrition stores may work as skin lightening agents as well, however each patient has a unique skin type and reactions to skin lightening agents vary.
* Sunscreens, especially those which are mineral based, such as zinc and titanium.
* Laser skin rejuvenation
These treatments do not necessarily cure the cause of melasma and the effectiveness of each will vary from patient to patient. Even after treatment, skin discoloration may not always disappear completely and each patient may have to try various different treatment options to see a satisfactory result. Some treatments may have to be continually performed to sustain results, such as applying a skin lightening agent on a regular basis, combined with effective sunscreen usage and sun exposure avoidance.
To help prevent melasma from worsening, patients may wear sunscreen which contains a mineral based shield from the sun with an SPF at least 20. Protective clothing and wearing a hat may help to prevent melasma from worsening. Protective facial make-up may also be worn to help even skin tone and block out the sun.
Consulting with a local cosmetic dermatologist in your area may offer skin care opportunities for melasma that are right for you. Find a local skin care clinic in your area!
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