Appointment Request Form
  • :


melasma treatment in NYCWhat is Melasma? Melasma is the development of excess melanin (pigmented cells) in sun-exposed areas of the skin.  It is not a dangerous condition, but can be cosmetically undesirable.  The most common locations to be affected by melasma are the cheeks, upper lip, chin and forehead. Who Gets Melasma? Melasma often has a direct correlation to female hormonal influence and therefore tends to present more often in females than males.  90% of patients affected by melasma are female.  Melasma is most common in women who are taking oral contraceptive pills or in women during pregnancy.  Melasma during pregnancy is quite common; it may be called chloasma, though this term is synonymous with melasma.  Regardless of the hormonal influence, sun exposure is a necessary component of the formation of melasma.  No matter how aggressively melasma is treated, it will never resolve without sun protection and avoidance of direct sunlight. How is Melasma Treated? There are many treatment options that are used to improve upon the appearance of melasma.  Many patients begin with at-home treatments, including prescription medications and sun avoidance.  Patients with severe melasma, those with melasma that does not respond to at-home treatments, or those who wish to treat their melasma aggressively often do very well with in-office treatments.  These treatments include chemical peels and laser treatments.  The Fraxel Laser is an excellent treatment of melasma. Regardless of the treatment modality chosen, it is important that the patient avoid sun exposure and any influencing hormones, such as oral contraceptive pills. The most commonly used at-home treatment for melasma is a medication called hydroquinone.  This medication is available in a concentration of 4% from many different prescription brands; it is available in a 5% formulation in the EnlightenMe cream dispensed at Schweiger Dermatology.  Hydroquinone may be combined with topical medications, such as retinoids, and an aggressive sun protection regimen to decrease the appearance of melasma. For patients wanting or needing a more aggressive approach to their melasma, in-office treatments are the best option.  Chemical peels, including the Jessner’s Peel, help to decrease the appearance of melasma after a series of treatments.  Chemical peels have very little downtime and are safe for all skin types.  Lasers, such as the Fraxel Laser, are the most effective treatment for melasma.  They also require a series of treatments, though the percentage of improvement is generally much higher than chemical peels and at-home treatments on their own.  The Fraxel laser is safe for all skin types and is used often at Schweiger Dermatology for the treatment of patients with melasma. To read more about chemical peels for the treatment of melasma, click here. To read more about the Fraxel laser for the treatment of melasma, click here.

Schweiger Dermatology

110 East 55th Street
New York, NY 10022

Search for Services, Treatments and Dermatology Information

Submit Your Question or Photo Consult

We Serve the following areas within New York City: Midtown East, Midtown West, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Midtown Manhattan, Greenwich Village, East Village, West Village, Soho, Tribeca, Murray Hill, Gramercy, Wall Street, Hell’s Kitchen, and the Burroughs of Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island.

NYC Cosmetic Dermatology