Melasma, or facial pigmentation, is a complex condition caused by a combination of sensitive skin, hormones, and sun exposure. Melanin, the primary determinant of skin and hair color, is what causes pigmentation in your skin. If your body produces too much melanin in a given area, the result is a brown spot on your skin and resulting hyperpigmentation. Dr. Michele Green is an expert cosmetic dermatologist who specializes in treating hyperpigmentation and melasma in thousands of NYC patients and around the world.
Melasma is much more common in women than men and is triggered by birth control pills, pregnancy, hormone therapy, stress, thyroid disease, and sun exposure. The most common areas for melasma are the forehead, cheeks, chin, and the skin above the lips. Melasma has been called the “mask of pregnancy,” although the hormonal changes of pregnancy are clearly not the only cause of this hyperpigmentation and the resulting discoloration.
Hyperpigmentation is a broader term which describes many skin conditions which leaves your skin discolored or dark from a myriad of factors. Hyperpigmentation can be the result of sun damage, sun spots, acne scarring, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, eczema or sensitive skin healing with dark marks. Many patients develop hyperpigmentation as a side effect from laser treatments, such Fraxel, IPL, or Picosure laser. Too often, patients have laser treatments to remove melasma and the result is a worsening of the melasma and hyperpigmentation. This type of pigmentation is more difficult to treat as the hyperpigmentation becomes more entrenched in the deeper layers of the skin. Dr. Michele Green specializes in treating these patients whose melasma and pigmentation were worsened by ablative and non-ablative laser treatments. Many patients suffer from hyperpigmentation and although Cosmelan was initially developed to treat melasma, Dr. Green has expanded its use to incorporate the treatment of acne scars, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) from lasers, sun spots, and sun damage and discoloration on the face, chest, and body.
Dr. Green is a world renowned specialist in Cosmelan and disorders of pigmentation and is here to help you brighten your skin and remove discoloration and hyperpigmentation. Cosmelan depigmentation system is an outstanding skin lightening treatment and one that Dr. Green utilizes daily in her boutique private NYC dermatology office.
What does Cosmelan treat?
Dr. Michele Green, in NYC, is an expert in skincare and treating hyperpigmentation on the face and other areas of discoloration on the body. Her focus on depigmentation treatment comes in part from seeing patients who were treated with Fraxel, IPL, Picosure, and other lasers incorrectly with resulting hyperpigmentation. Most cases of melasma and hyperpigmentation are best treated with chemical peels, Cosmelan, Mesopeels, and other appropriate cosmeceuticals and skincare. In addition, dark spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne can be treated effectively with Cosmelan. The following list are the main conditions which Cosmelan treats:
- Sun spots
- Sun damage
- Acne scarring
- Age spots
- Post-Inflammatory hyperpigmentation
- Skin discoloration on chest, neck, and back
- Uneven skin tone
- Discoloration from laser treatments such as Fraxel, IPL, and Picosure laser
What is a cosmelan peel?
The Cosmelan® peel is a professional-grade mask that is applied by board certified dermatologist Dr. Michele S. Green in her practice on the Upper East Side. The mask is left in place for a number of hours (depending on the degree of pigmentation and skin type). The cream is easily removed at home by the patient, with a neutral gentle facial cleanser, several hours later. Cosmelan® will produce an initial “peeling” of the skin, which will leave the skin smooth and dramatically decrease the signs of facial pigmentation. Cosmelan® is a simple and safe treatment with minimal down time. The patient returns three weeks later for a touch-up of Cosmelan® in order to treat any residual pigmentation.
A series of creams including kojic acid, azelaic acid, hydroquinone, hydra-vital factor K (Vitamin K cream), and sunscreen are used at home after the Cosmelan mask is removed to maintain the effects of the procedure and keep the skin clear and pigment-free. Strict sun avoidance, and a sunscreen of SPF 50 or higher, which contains titanium dioxide, must be utilized. Dr. Green recommends layering two different sunscreens to her melasma patients. She recommends using a chemical based sunscreen, such as one that contains oxybenzone and one that contains a physical block, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Sunscreen use is paramount throughout the procedure and afterwards, in order to avoid melasma and pigmentation recurrence.
What is the Cosmelan depigmentation treatment?
The Cosmelan depigmentation treatment consists of a two part chemical peel system, of Cosmelan 1, applied approximately three weeks apart in the office of Dr. Michele Green. This depigmentation treatment is an in office procedure which is combined with home treatment to maintain and prevent recurrence of the depigmentation. At home, Cosmelan 2 is used daily or twice a day, depending on the patient’s ability to tolerate the product. Hydra-vital factor K or Melan Recovery, or MGSKINLABs Recovery Cream are used to counter balance any irritation from the products. Daily sunscreen as photoprotection is extremely important. Daily compliance with the home maintenance products is essential to remove the pigmentation both immediately and long term.
Mesoesthetic products have revolutionized the treatment of melasma and depigmentation with their Cosmelan treatments, Mesopeels, and other products to treat facial and body hyperpigmenation. Cosmelan treatment can be used for all skin types, especially for patients with type IV or darker skin. Cosmelan is uniquely made to treat patients with Asian, Hispanic, Mediterranean, and African American skin. These skincare products were designed to treat hyperpigmentation and dark spots for all skin types. Home maintenance creams are a crucial part of treating hyperpigmnetaion and melasma with the mesoestetic line of products.
How does Cosmelan work?
Cosmelan is a proprietary combination of active ingredients of proven efficacy that acts on the entire process of pigment formation to remove the accumulation of melanin and inhibit the formation of new pigment. Cosmelan works by several mechanisms:
- Accelerates epidermal renewal to remove the accumulation of melanin.
- Reduces the amount of melanin formation and decreases the dark spots.
- Blocks the transfer of melanin from the melanocyte to the keratinocyte, inhibiting the migration of pigment to epidermal layers of the skin.
- Reduces the synthesis of melanin inside melanocytes.
Cosmelan complex consists of 51 active ingredients, including numerous Tyrosinase inhibitors, which block the production of melanin in the skin. The 5 key Tyrosinase inhibitors and lightening agents include:
- Kojic Acid
- Azelaic Acid
- Phytic Acid
- Ascorbic acid
Cosmelan is a prescription formulation, which is only available to physicians, and is compounded with 8 percent hydroquinone for increased skin lightening.
The Cosmelan depigmentation gel decreases the melanin production in the skin, by inhibiting the tyrosinase enzyme, and helping to effect beautiful, clear skin. It is important to discontinue all retinoids, glycolic acids, and any other exfoliants, for one week before your Cosmelan peel. In addition, the use of these exfoliating products, as well as Retin-A should be discontinued for one week before the procedure and during the Cosmelan 2 maintenance treatment.
How long does the Cosmelan peel last?
The Cosmelan peel needs to be incorporated with the home maintenance treatment to have the best cosmetic results. The results from the Cosmelan chemical peel will be permanent as long as strict sun avoidance is maintained, along with the maintenance cream.
Is Dermamelan (Fortified Method) better than Cosmelan for treating melasma?
Dermamelan contains a stronger amount of salicylic acid, in addition to Azelaic acid, Aubutin, Kocic Acid, Licorice Extract, and Phytic Acid. Some cases of melasma may require Dermamelan treatment but this will be decided on an individual basis, depending on skin type, skin tone, cosmetic history, and medical history.
How to treat melasma?
Melasma is a complex pigmentation condition, which is caused by the body’s overproduction of melanin in the skin. Melasma cannot be treated with plastic surgery or laser treatment. Cosmelan depigmentation system is the best chemical peel treatment to reduce melasma and prevent its relapse.
Does Cosmelan contain hydroquinone?
Yes, Cosmelan contains an eight percent hydroquinone which is compounded with other skin brightening agents to reduce the overproduction of melanin in the skin. Cosmelan does not contain any trichloroacetic acid (TCA). Cosmelan contains multiple agents in addition to hydroquinone, which inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme, which is responsible for causing hyperpigmentation.
Can Cosmelan make melasma worse?
Cosmelan will not make melasma worse. Dr. Green considers the Cosmelan treatment the best depigmentation treatment to improve facial melasma. Laser treatments with Fraxel, IPL, Picosure, as well as other CO2 or fractionated lasers, can make melasma worse. Cosmelan can be used to treat these side effects from laser treatments.
Can I do the Cosmelan peel at home?
The Cosmelan peel is not a home peel. A physician needs to apply the Cosmelan peel in a medical office and the results and maintenance treatment need to be monitored by a dermatologist who is experienced in treating facial pigmentation and melasma.
How to use Cosmelan 1?
Cosmelan 1 is is the professional treatment which Dr. Green will apply on your face to treat your melasma. At the time of your depigmentation treatment, Dr. Green will advise you as to the length of time which you are required to leave on your Cosmelan peel. Depending on your skin type and skin tone, the length of time can vary from 4 hours up to 12 hours. The Cosmelan 1 peel will be removed by the patient at home with a gentle skin cleanser.
How to use Cosmelan 2 maintenance cream?
Cosmelan 2 is a topical anti-spot pigmentation cream for home maintenance use after the Cosmelan 1 peel is performed in Dr. Green’s office. Cosmelan 2 can be used once a day or twice daily, depending on how much irritation is associated with the product use. Cosmelan 2 prevents the appearance of new dark spots and treats existing dark spots on the face. If Cosmelan 2 cream causes too much irritation, Dr. Green advises to discontinue its use for several days until the irritation is resolved, and continue moisturizing until you can initiate treatment with Cosmelan 2 again. Cosmelan 2 is a critical part to the success of the Cosmelan depigmentation system and regulating the production of melanin in the melanocytes, and successfully treating your facial melasma.
Where to buy Cosmelan?
Cosmelan MD line of products is available through the office of Dr. Michele Green in New York. Only current patients have access to purchase this depigmentation line of products, since they need to be under the care of a board certified physician to monitor their use and side effects.
How do I get started with Cosmelan to treat my melasma and hyperpigmentation?
Dr. Michele S. Green is one of the only dermatologists in New York to offer Cosmelan treatment. Originally developed in Spain, Cosmelan® is both safe and effective on all skin types. The mask treatment has been proven to be more effective than laser treatments on all skin types, included darker skin tones, such as Asian, Hispanic, and African American skin.
Dr. Michele Green has treated thousands of cases of melasma and hyperpigmentation, and she will customize a treatment protocol for you. Your treatment can consist of skin lightening creams from MGSKINLABS, Inc line of products, retinoids, Vitamin C serums, Cosmelan, Mesopeels, Mesopeel periocular peels, Clear and Brilliant® laser, among other treatment modalities.