Melasma Treatment

Melasma is a common skin condition that results in patches or spots of dark pigmentation on the skin. Melasma is found on the areas of the body that see the most sun. Melasma is most commonly found on the face, cheeks, and forehead, but can appear on the neck, arms, shoulder, or area. There are few melasma treatments available, but our Charleston patients are in luck – because Dr. O’Neill and his expert cosmetic team have a laser treatment that will reduce spots from melasma!

What Causes Melasma?

According to the American Association of Dermatology, the specific cause of melasma is not clear. However, some of the most common triggers are sun exposure, hormonal changes, and irritation from cosmetics. These factors may increase the activity of color-making cells in the skin, and result in discoloration.

Melasma is sometimes called the “pregnancy mask” because it is very commonly seen in pregnant women. Hormonal shifts that come with pregnancy and sometimes birth control pills are the most common triggers seen in our Charleston office.

Our Melasma Treatment

The PicoSure laser offers a fast, permanent melasma treatment. The high-tech laser targets the cells of the gray-brown patches on the skin with ultra-short pulses of photomechanical light energy. The laser breaks apart the pigmentation of the affected skin and signaling cells to create new, healthy cells. This treatment won’t harm the surrounding cells, and it is gentle on the skin.

Patients can look forward to having reduced melasma patches and a refreshed, younger-looking, and more even skin tone with smoother and firmer skin texture. In order to achieve full clearance, three or more treatments may be needed. To obtain the best results and healing, treatments are scheduled about one month apart.


Dr. O’Neill and Dr. Swartz are committed to working with you and the other members of your health care team to ensure that you receive all of the information you need to make the best decision regarding your breast reconstruction procedure. Charleston area breast cancer patients can benefit from Dr. O’Neill’s and Dr. Swartz’s guidance, surgical experience and commitment to patient education as you and your loved ones explore all of your surgical options. Call our plastic surgery office at 843-881-2130 or contact us online.

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