Sun exposure is the most common trigger for melasma. This includes prolonged UVA and UVB light exposure absorbed by unprotected skin over time.
Hormones can trigger melasma. The most common hormonal change in women that triggers melasma is pregnancy. In fact, melasma is commonly referred to as “the mask of pregnancy.” Menopause, hormonal contraceptives, and hormone therapies can also aggravate melasma.
Skin irritation or inflammation can also trigger melasma. Irritating topicals, such as harsh soaps or cosmetic topicals, can cause inflammation in the skin that induces pigment production.
Picosecond laser treatments deliver extremely short pressure waves into the skin that shatter pigment into small particles that are absorbed and discarded by our immune system. The Picosecond laser is a unique treatment option for melasma because it does not produce heat. Without heat, there is no risk of causing inflammation in the skin and therefore no risk for triggering melasma. A series of these treatments performed 3-4 weeks apart can provide noticeable improvement in hyperpigmentation on the face.