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Fraxel Laser - Melasma - Skin Treatments - Los Angeles, California

Melasma, otherwise known as "the mask of pregnancy," is a skin disorder effecting up to six million American women. The condition is characterized by a dark discoloration of facial skin that up to now has been resistant to most medical therapy. Fortunately, these patients now have good reason to be hopeful since the FDA approved the new Fraxel Laser for the treatment of melasma.

Dark patches of skin on the face as seen in melasma are most common in women of childbearing age. Pregnancy, birth control medication and sun exposure are all associated with melasma. Hispanics and Asians, with darker skin types, are at higher risk for the condition. Melasma is nine times more common in women than in men.

Previous therapy had limited effectiveness in treating melasma. These older treatments included topical steroids, bleaching creams and sunscreen. Mostly, patients had to accept the discoloration of their facial skin. Many of these people were frustrated and self-conscious about their condition. The stresses of motherhood often worsened the emotional burden of patients with melasma.

Now there is hope. The new Fraxel Laser has been shown to be effective in clinical trials for the treatment of melasma. In one clinical trial, 70% of 10 female subjects had marked to significant improvement of melasma as determined by two independent investigators. In a second study, 10 female patients with melasma had Fraxel Laser treatment on one side of the face and topical medication treatment on the other side. All facial sides treated with Fraxel Laser achieved a significant improvement of their melasma, compared with only half of the facial sides benefiting when treated with topical medications. No serious side effects were reported in the studies.

The Fraxel Laser is a new technology designed to deliver the benefits of a more powerful laser, but with a short recovery and few side effects. Instead of using a single powerful carbon dioxide laser beam, the Fraxel Laser uses a million tiny columns of laser energy to create microthermal treatment zones. The tissue surrounding each of these zones is unaffected by the laser and allows the skin to heal much more quickly. Fraxel Laser treatment removes older epidermal pigmented cells and penetrates down to the dermis. The older skin and blemishes are replaced with new, healthy tissues through the patient's own healing process. In addition to improving skin discoloration in conditions such as melasma, the Fraxel Laser is also effective at improving skin texture and fine wrinkles.

The exciting new technology of the Fraxel Laser will now allow patients to shed their "mask" and face the world with the self-confidence of someone who has clear skin.

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