Melasma in Washington DC


  • Melasma is characterized by homogenous areas of dark pigmentation that most commonly appear on areas of the face such as the forehead, upper lip, and cheeks.
  • Melasma can be triggered by hormonal changes of pregnancy, or from exogenous hormones such as birth control pills or hormone supplements.
  • Melasma can be worsened by certain topical treatments and laser treatments, so expertise is key in successful management.


  • Daily broad spectrum sun protection is essential to the treatment of melasma.  Mineral sunscreens are best since even visible light can worsen melasma.
  • Topical brighteners can help to fade unwanted pigmentation, but must be carefully chosen so as not to trigger additional pigmentation caused by inflammation of the skin.
  • The most data-driven approach to treating melasma is with the new Clear+Brilliant Perméa laser.  The 1927nm wavelength is very effective at targeting the darker areas of pigmentation without inflaming the skin.  Dr. Sherber uses the opportunity immediately post-laser, when absorption of topical treatments is increased 17x, to apply a customized blend of brightening serums to each patient’s skin for added benefit.
  • Depending on the depth and severity of melasma, Dr. Sherber may pre-treat the skin for several weeks prior to laser treatment using a tailored regimen of topical treatments.


  • Dr. Sherber may recommend labs to check for hormonal irregularities ranging from estrogen hormones to thyroid imbalances.
  • If melasma is triggered by oral contraceptives, Dr. Sherber may recommend changes to your medication regimen.
  • Dr. Sherber does not recommend IPL in the treatment of melasma since for most skin types it can result in initial improvement and subsequent worsening of pigmentation.

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