The Difference between Melasma and Sun Damage

It is common for men and women to confuse sun damage with melasma both conditions involve pigmentation on the face. Despite the similarities in pigmentation, melasma and sun damage are actually quite different. The source of the discoloration is the major difference between the two-melasma and sun damage. For example, melasma, caused by pigmentation (melanocytes) generated in response to hormonal fluctuations and related to hormonal changes such as pregnancy, menopause, oral contraceptives, etc., is considered chronic, and has no cure. The idea behind melasma treatment is to control and suppress the formation of new-pigmented cells thereby minimizing the appearance of dark patches on the skin. One of the challenges in treating melasma is that is can occur in the dermis or deep skin layer. Because the condition can be rooted deep in the skin, the condition can sometimes be resistant to treatment.

Here at we encourage you to view melasma treatment before and after pictures to see successful results as well as contact the doctor about more information.

In contrast, the pigment associated with sun damage such as solar lentigines, seborrheic keratosis, freckles, sunspots, liver spots lies closer to the surface of the skin and is much less challenging to treat. Class IV medical lasers treats existing sun damage whereas topical preparations addresses melasma. Q-switched (short pulsed and high-powered) laser technology is very effective at breaking down the pigment associated with sun damage in several treatments. This technology also has the benefit of destroying the cells associated with the pigment. This means that new cells replace the old ones and do not contain the same pigment that was present previously. With q-switched laser technology, we are able to completely remove most age spots and sun damage.

Celibre Medical Corporation has developed two topical programs to safely and effectively treat and control problem Melasma.

Melasma treatments use a combination of topical products. The program used for your situation depends on what you have tried in the past as well as your skin type – Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian, African - and your life stage - premenopausal, perimenopausal or postmenopausal. At Celibre, Melasma treatment programs use depigmentation agents as well as exfoliating treatments like glycolic acid chemical peels.

If you live near the Los Angeles or Orange County, California area, contact Southern California’s Premier Laser Dermatology Center, Celibre Laser Skin Care. Outside of California? Contact a local dermatology in your area today to discuss options for treating any skin issues of concern.