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What Treatments Are Available for Melasma?

Melasma, sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy,” is a frustrating condition. The brown or bluish patches can be very visible and difficult to cover with makeup. Fortunately, melasma treatment can give you clearer, more even skin. This condition should only be treated by a provider with extensive skill and experience, such as our Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz experts. 

What is Melasma? 

Melasma is a condition caused by the overproduction of melanin in certain areas of your skin. Cells called melanocytes make melanin to protect your skin from sun damage. Melanin also gives color to the eyes, skin, and hair. Melasma occurs when melanocytes in parts of your skin become activated to make too much melanin. Common places for melasma include the forehead, cheeks, jawline, and upper lip, although it can affect other areas of the face and body. 

Melasma can spread across the face or appear as blotches or spots. It is flat, smooth, and not itchy or irritated. It feels the same as a freckle, which is also a small spot of melanin overproduction. Melasma varies widely in appearance and may have a blotchy appearance with different colors. Some people have light pigmentation, while others may see a much darker tone. 

What Causes Melasma?

Melasma has many causes. Nine out of ten affected people are women, indicating that hormones play a role. Hormonal changes during pregnancy are very likely to cause melasma, with up to 50% of pregnant women showing some pigmentation changes. Pregnancy-related melasma fades on its own for many women, but not all. Sun exposure also plays a strong role, with most melasma appearing in areas exposed to the sun. 

Certain medications can trigger melasma, including oral contraceptives, estrogens, and medications that make you more sensitive to the sun. Medical conditions can also cause melanocytes to become overactive. Up to 50% of people with melasma have a family member with the condition

What Treatments Are Available for Melasma?

Your Premier Vein & Body team offers several melasma treatment options. Melasma is challenging to treat since it cannot be safely treated with traditional lasers. These three treatments are our favorite options for safely fading your melasma. 

PicoSure Focus

PicoSure Focus is our first-line treatment for melasma. It works effectively for most people with no downtime or discomfort. This treatment uses extremely rapid pulses of pressure energy that trigger cellular renewal without heat. The lack of heat or light energy means PicoSure Focus is safe for skin affected by melasma. 

Opus Plasma™

Opus Plasma™ uses a combination of radiofrequency and plasma energy. Since it also avoids light-based treatments, which can harm areas with melasma, it provides a safe treatment option. In addition, you will see other improvements in skin texture and tone. 


Tixel® triggers skin rejuvenation using tiny titanium cones that transfer energy to small areas of skin. These areas of micro-damage trigger skin renewal that helps shed hyperpigmented skin cells. Tixel® can be used in areas such as around the eyes where lasers should not be used. 

Is There Any Downtime With Melasma Treatment?

Downtime varies depending on the treatment. You may have sunburn-like effects such as redness and sensitivity. These may last an hour or two after PicoSure or a day or two with other treatment options. You can usually resume your usual activities immediately. Use sun protection after treatment to prevent hyperpigmentation from coming back. 

Consultations Available Now

To learn more, schedule your consultation with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the form on this page or by calling his practice at 913-451-8346. Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz serves patients throughout the Kansas City metro.

How Long Will It Take to See Results From Melasma Treatment?

Most melasma treatments require several sessions to achieve your desired results. We usually recommend three sessions of any treatment spaced several weeks apart, or even a mix and match of treatments, depending on skin type and severity of melasma. Your melasma will fade gradually as your skin sheds the hyperpigmented cells. Your results may evolve and improve for several weeks after your last treatment. 

Will My Melasma Come Back After Treatment?

Whether melasma comes back depends on its underlying causes. If your melasma developed during pregnancy, it may never come back. However, it will likely come back if you become pregnant again. Melasma caused by medications or medical conditions may not come back if the condition is treated or you stop taking the medication. People with a genetic predisposition may see their melasma recur. 

You can significantly decrease your risk of melasma coming back by avoiding sun exposure and applying sunscreen as directed. Sun exposure triggers melanin production as a protective mechanism. Spending time in the sun makes it more likely that your pigmented areas will return

Am I a Good Candidate for Melasma Treatment?

Most adults with melasma are good candidates for treatment. We use treatments safe for ALL skin types and tones, and our expert providers will choose the best one for your needs. Good candidates may have mild to severe melasma. Treatment can address small or large areas of hyperpigmentation with little to no downtime.


*Individual Results May Vary


Read from real patients about their experiences with Dr. Schwartz and his team at Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz.

Take the Next Step

If you are interested in treating melasma safely and effectively, please call us at (913) 451-8346 or complete our online contact form, and one of our trusted staff members will reach out to you. Premier Vein & Body is located in Kansas City, MO, just past the State Line, and proudly serves Leawood, Overland Park, Johnson County, and the entire Kansas City metro area.

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