Melasma is a chronic skin disorder that results in symmetrical, blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation. It is more common in women than in men. It generally starts between the age of 20 and 40 years, but it can begin in childhood or not until middle age. It is not uncommon in hormone induced states such as pregnancy or use of the contraceptive pill.
Melasma is more common in people that tan well or have naturally brown skin (Fitzpatrick skin types 3 and 4) compared with those who have fair skin (skin types 1 and 2) or black skin (skin types 5 or 6).Treatment begins with year round sun protection and prescription fading creams. Other topical and oral medications may assist. Laser treatments must be undertaken by experts as in many cases it can darken the pigmentation. New laser technologies including the Picoway® laser is producing good results.
Hori’s naevus presents as bilateral and symmetrical small, greyish-brown to blue-grey spots on the prominence of the cheeks and less often the temples, nose, eyelids and forehead. More common in Asian skin types, it often presents in late adolescence. Treatment is effective with multiple sessions of the appropriate medical laser – the Picoway® or Picosure® lasers.
Naevus of Ota is a pigmented birthmark that is slate-brown or blue/grey in colour. Often situation around the eye or on the temple. When examined under a microscope, the pigmented naevus cells are found in the deep layer of the skin. It may be present at birth or appear in early adolescence. Treatment is with the picosecond lasers - multiple sessions are required for a good outcome.
Wavelengths 1064nm, 785nm, 532nm