Also known as the pregnancy mask, but may occur (usu. in women) from any hormone change with sun exposure.
There is no perfect cure for melasma yet; however, there are some treatments that improve it significantly.
At my practice, we have tried many treatments over the years and have our own system of treatment that we believe works the best. We treat our melasma patients with the 1927nm laser at the office, followed by home use of a mandelic acid cleanser, and a Vitamin C iontophoretic mask. This treatment regimen was invented by Mark Taylor M.D. CEO of Gateway Aesthetic Institute.
The home topical treatment system, meant to be used after laser treatment, is available for purchase and goes by the name Cosmion. The kit comes with a very comfortable soft iontophoretic mask, the cleanser, the Vitamin C, a solution to clean the mask, and a battery-powered iontophoresis mask. The mild current in this gentle iontophoresis system may either not feel like anything or may tingle the skin a little. Iontophoresis has been used by dermatologists for years to treat sweating of the palms and soles, and more recently to help medications penetrate the skin better.
We advise our patients to use the Cosmion home regimen 3-4 x/week for four weeks after their laser treatment. We may repeat the monthly regimen as desired.
An article was published by Dr. Taylor in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology re. this treatment, See the January 2013 issue, Volume 12, Issue 1, pages 45-50. Here's a link: http://jddonline.com/articles/dermatology/S1545961613P0045X/1