Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science




Elyse Watkins


Background and Objective: Melasma is difficult to treat due to its unknown etiology. Various treatments available to improve the appearance of melasma have a high chance of recurrence. The purpose of this study was to perform a review to evaluate the efficacy and rate of relapse in treatments for melasma with a combination of laser therapies and hydroquinone (HQ) and HQ alone.

Methods: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms melasma, laser therapy, and hydroquinone. Eighteen articles were retrieved and used for this clinical review.

Results: Combining laser applications with HQ results in a longer duration of results than just HQ alone.

Conclusion: Melasma is a complex skin condition to treat because its cause can come from different sources including contraception, sun exposure, genetics, hormonal changes, or unknown causes. Laser and light therapy treatments for melasma have been shown to work best for those who have faced relapse and recurrence with topical treatments such as HQ. However, even the most effective treatments for melasma have shown to result in recurrence. Further research needs to be conducted to establish the effect of laser therapies and HQ for melasma.


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