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Melasma: Pills, Peels, Picosecond Lasers

Aspen, Colorado – Effective options for melasma range from popular peels and lasers to oral and intravenous agents, said Miami-based dermatologist Joely Kaufman, M.D., at The Cosmetic Bootcamp (CBC).

In one study, investigators compared glycolic acid peels, lactic acid and topical vitamin C 20% monotherapy. Half of patients had a 50% reduction in pigment, she said. This figure included 73% of patients using glycolic acid, 50% in the lactic acid group, and 27% using vitamin C alone (Dayal S, et al. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2016;15(4):367-373.).


“So vitamin C does work. And it’s reassuring to see that tried-and-true glycolic acid still has efficacy in the world of pigment,” she said.

Among lasers, she added, “There is some good evidence that perhaps low-fluence, Q-switched, very short pulse rate and picosecond lasers may have a role in treating pigmentation (Yue B, et al. Lasers Med Sci. 2016;31(8):1657-1663.).”


Systemic medications for melasma that are popular in Europe and Asia include tranexamic acid (administered intravenously), antioxidants (IV and oral), plus oral pycnogenol and polypodium leucotomos, she said.

For additional details or to register for future CBC events, please contact:

Karen Dennis

CBC/Meeting Designs, LLC

Phone: 877-809-7525

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