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Lasers, lights, and compounds for melasma in aesthetics

      Abstract

      Melasma is a chronic and relapsing skin condition. Although melasma is usually asymptomatic, it can be associated with immense psychosocial stress and greatly impact a patient's quality of life. Over the years, many different treatments have been used, ranging from daily photoprotection, topical lightening creams, and oral agents to laser and light-based therapies; however, efficacy is often limited with such treatments, and there is currently no effective modality to prevent recurrence. Although treatment strategies had originally centered on the use of hydroquinone, newer modalities now include oral tranexamic acid and lasers. We examined previous and ongoing debates related to melasma treatments and have reviewed the current efficacy and safety of available treatments. Critical components essential to the successful management of melasma are the setting of patient expectations and assurance of treatment compliance.
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