A recent report has found that Ulthera, a treatment long regarded as the gold standard for non-surgical face lifting using high-intensity focussed ultrasound, has shown to be able to improve UVB induced pigmentation in patients with Fitzpatrick skin type IV, but its efficacy in other hyperpigmented conditions including melasma is still lacking, although studies are being done on the efficacy and safety of using high-intensity focused ultrasound for the treatment of melasma in Asians.
Melasma is a common pigmentation disorder that causes brown or grey patches to appear on the skin, primarily on the face. The most common areas for melasma would be the bridge of the nose, forehead and cheeks.
Birth control pills, pregnancy, and hormone therapy can all trigger melasma. Stress and thyroid disease are also thought to be causes of melasma. Additionally, sun exposure can cause melasma because ultraviolet rays affect the cells that control pigment.
In the study mentioned, 25 melasma patients were selected at random to either received 3-monthly sessions of high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment or to serve as a control group. The results were assessed by dermatologists every 4 weeks for a period of 20 weeks.
Twenty-one patients with Fitzpatrick skin type III and IV completed the study. There was a great reduction of the pigmentation after treatment in the high-intensity focused ultrasound-treated side, with more than a 50% improvement and none had worsening of their melasma.
Cysteamine Cream for the treatment of melasma
L-Cysteamine is a biological antioxidant that is naturally present in our cells. Recent studies conducted have found that the use of topical cysteamine for the treatment of melasma has shown positive results. In the tests conducted, after a period of 2 and 4 months of once-daily application of cysteamine cream, the patient saw a marked improvement of the hyper-pigmented lesions. After 4 months, the therapeutic results were maintained through a biweekly application regimen of cysteamine cream.
The study also showed that the cysteamine cream was well tolerated and did not induce any side effects during the 3-year follow-up of the patient. Cysteamine is a natural molecule with an excellent safety profile and known antimutagenic, anti-melanoma, and anticarcinogenic effects. Because of its high efficacy, it is possible that it could replace current topical treatments in the near future.
At EHA Clinic, we use a combination of different modalities to improve on the outcome of difficult to control melasma in order to get the best results. Call us on 6235 3325 to find out more about our treatments for melasma and pigmentation today.