What you need to Know about Top Melasma Treatment Options: Expert Insights
June 24, 2024

What you need to Know about Top Melasma Treatment Options: Expert Insights

Are you looking to find out information about top melasma treatments? We created this guide for you.

Before we get into the topic, we want to clarify that melasma is treatable. The only problem that makes it a difficult condition to deal with is that achieving a complete cure can be challenging

Treatments like topical creams, chemical peels, or laser therapy can help lighten the patches. However, results tend to vary considerably.

As part of your treatment plan and depending on the suspected triggers, your treatment plan may also include managing hormones through birth control or avoiding hormone triggers altogether.

Consistency in treatment and patience are key though, as melasma can be stubborn. Read on for expert insights on what to know on top melasma treatments.


Does Anything Really Work for Melasma?

For many people who visit our clinic seeking options for top melasma treatment in Singapore, one of the questions that seem to come up most of the time is; does anything work for melasma? Here's the answer;

Still, there isn't a definitive cure for melasma. But the good news is that there are various treatments that can help manage it. So, yes, there are treatments that actually work for melasma.

Do keep in mind though that these treatments can lead to partial improvement, with some patches lightening while others persist. Options range from topical medications to professional procedures.

Topical creams are mostly formulated with ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, or corticosteroids. In use, they may help lighten pigmentation but not treat melasma.

There are also chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments which can also help in reducing discoloration by removing outer layers of skin. Again, these options only serve to help you have uniformity on the skin but do not necessarily cure melasma.

 Another treatment that actually works for melasma is laser therapy. This treatment works by targeting deeper layers of pigment to destroy them and ensure uniformity.

However, response to treatment varies among individuals, and results may be inconsistent. As part of any treatment plan for melasma, sun protection remains vital to prevent further darkening.

What do I Need to Know about Top Melasma Treatment Options?

While there are treatments that actually work for melasma, there are a couple of things your dermatologist or cosmetic doctor will want you to understand about top melasma treatment options before commencing treatment. Key among these includes;

The Expected Outcomes and Realistic Expectations

Top melasma treatment options offer varying degrees of success. While some people may experience significant improvement, complete eradication of melasma patches is rare.

Expectations should be realistic. Ideally, you should aim for lightening rather than complete removal.

Treatments like topical creams, chemical peels, and laser therapy can effectively reduce pigmentation. But, as earlier explained, results can vary from person to person. So, even if you noticed some results on someone else, don't overly expect to achieve the same results.


To be able to sustain results, melasma treatment often requires ongoing maintenance. Part of this maintenance is continuous sun protection.

This is particularly crucial to prevent the recurrence and worsening of pigmentation. Regular follow-ups with a dermatologist are also recommended to ensure proper monitoring of progress and adjustment of treatment as needed.

You may want to incorporate a skincare regimen that includes gentle cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. And to maintain results, some treatments, like topical creams or maintenance chemical peels, may need to be continued indefinitely.


The suitability of melasma treatment options depends on various factors. Key among the factors that will influence your suitability for any treatment includes your skin type, severity of melasma, and individual preferences.

Topical creams formulated with ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, or kojic acid are suitable for mild to moderate cases. And, they're often the first-line treatment for melasma.

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion are effective for surface pigmentation. However, they may not penetrate deeply enough for stubborn melasma.

Laser therapy, including fractional lasers or intense pulsed light (IPL), can target deeper pigment. The key concern is that they may carry risks for certain skin types. With this in mind, you will want to consult with your dermatologist or cosmetic doctor to help you determine the most suitable treatment based on individual needs and concerns.

Potential Side Effects

Like any medical procedure, melasma treatments carry potential side effects and risks. Topical creams for example may cause skin irritation, redness, or peeling.

This is especially common during the initial stages of treatment. Chemical peels and laser therapy can lead to temporary redness, swelling, or hyperpigmentation, particularly for people with darker skin.

Rare but serious side effects include scarring, infection, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. As a basic rule of thumb, be sure to discuss potential risks and benefits with your provider before undergoing any treatment.

Combination Therapy

Combining multiple treatment modalities often yields better results in managing melasma. Your provider may recommend a combination of topical creams, chemical peels, and laser therapy to target different aspects of pigmentation.

For example, using a topical cream to inhibit melanin production while undergoing periodic chemical peels or laser sessions for exfoliation and deeper pigment targeting can enhance outcomes. Combination therapy tailored to individual needs and skin type can maximize efficacy while minimizing side effects.

Cost Considerations

The cost of melasma treatment can vary depending on the type of procedure, the number of sessions required, and geographical location. Topical creams are generally more affordable.

However, they may require long-term use for maintenance. Chemical peels and laser therapy are more costly, with prices ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars per session.

Also, note that insurance coverage for melasma treatment may be limited or not even available depending on your provider. This is because it's often considered a cosmetic concern. To ensure that you're on the same page, please discuss pricing and payment options with your doctor beforehand and factor in potential ongoing costs for maintenance and follow-up appointments.

Lifestyle Modifications

In addition to professional treatments, lifestyle modifications play a crucial role in managing melasma. For example, you will want to avoid triggers like sun exposure, hormonal fluctuations, and certain medications.

These modifications can help prevent worsening of pigmentation and improve your treatment outcomes. Incorporating daily sun protection measures, including wearing sunscreen with high SPF, hats, and sunglasses, is paramount.

Maintain a healthy skincare routine with gentle products and avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive exfoliants to prevent irritation and inflammation. Also, stick to a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and stay hydrated to support your overall skin health and complement your professional treatment plan.

The Bottom Line

Managing melasma can be challenging. But with a combination of treatments tailored to individual needs, along with sun protection, you have the best chances for improvement.

As a general rule, be sure to consult a dermatologist or board-certified cosmetic doctor for personalized advice. We welcome consultations on anything melasma. To schedule your consultation or assessment, call or drop a line at our clinic at;

One Face Clinic - Pigmentation | Melasma | Acne Singapore

1 Tras Link,

#02-01 Orchid Hotel Singapore,

Singapore 078867

+65 6222 2262