Melasma is the appearance of patchy brown, tan, or blue-gray facial skin discoloration that typically appears on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead and chin. Melasma affects women between the ages 20 to 50, and although possible, is rarely seen occurring in men. An estimated 6 million women in the United States live with melasma and is most common among pregnant women. People who have olive or dark skin such as those with Hispanic, Asian, or Middle Eastern decent have a higher risk of melasma. Although the exact cause of melasma is unknown, some believe factors including pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, family history of melasma, race, antiseizure medications and certain other medications may play a role in developing this skin condition.

The invention of the Fraxel:Dual laser is a sensational breakthrough in the treatment of melasma.  Fraxel:Dual is a subset of the Fraxel family of lasers.  Fraxel Dual is equipped with a special wavelength that specifically targets hyperpigmented areas, dark sunspots and melasma.  Until recently, creams and sun avoidance have been the mainstay of melasma treatment.  The invention of the Fraxel:Dual laser provides those with melasma a faster, more effective way to erase the mask of melasma they have been hiding beneath.  It is important to know that even if you decide to have Fraxel:Dual treatment for your melasma, you must be very careful to avoid excessive sun exposure to the face.  The smallest amounts of sun exposure can cause melasma to get worse.  Melasma is a very frustrating disorder to treat, but treatment with Fraxel:Dual along with sunblock can provide dramatic lightening and even disappearance of melasma.