Top 5 Questions on Melasma with Dr. Tara Brown
Aesthetics Biomedical® Clinical Director, Marie Tice RN, CLT, sat down with Dr. Tara Brown to discuss treating melasma with radiofrequency (RF) microneedling, her recommended protocols, and more!
1. Is RF microneedling safe to use with melasma? Are there certain circumstances when you decide not to treat?
“RF microneedling is safe to use with melasma because of the insulated needles that protect the surface of the skin. I have never had a circumstance where someone was not a candidate.”
2. What settings do you typically use with a client with melasma? Do you use a lower heat setting, with a longer time (ms)? Do you use a deeper depth, to bury that heat and to not activate the melanocytes?
“That’s exactly what I do. I do three passes, the first pass is the deepest (forehead/nose/orbital rims 1.2, perioral/chin 2-2.5, cheeks 2.5-3.5) with power of 5, and 800ms. The next pass is typically power of 4, 700ms, and 2 mm shallower than the first pass. The third pass would be at a power of 3, 600ms, and 2 mm shallower than the second pass.”
3. Do you pre-treat with any lightning ingredients, and do you have them discontinue seven days before treatment or have them continue after treatment?
“I start with a medical grade chemical peel and I give them home care products 45 days before the microneedling. The home care products typically include things like vitamin C and brightening serums. They continue the at home products after the microneedling as well, and I do another peel 45 days after the microneedling. So it’s a 90 day melasma Boot Camp. For severe cases I also give them a 90 day course of oral tranexamic acid.”
4. Do you have the patient use Hydroquinone while doing the treatment or do you try to do the treatment while they are on their break from it? Is there a concern of rebound hyperpigmentation?
“I don’t use Hydroquinone because there are so many other good brightening treatments out there that I don’t feel I need to. I have been using products like PCA skin‘s new pigment gel pro that attack pigment at every point in the melanocyte’s cycle.”
5. Do you have any combination therapies that you like to pair with a Vivace® to maximize the client’s outcome and how you combine them?
“For melasma patients I will often do a mild chemical peel immediately after their micro needling treatment. I keep it mild because the effect is so intense. A favorite is PCA Skin’s Sensi Peel.”
Sources: Dr. Tara Brown, Physician, Surgeon and Medical Director – Opulence Med Spa
Disclaimer: The Vivace® Guidelines are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, medical director, or qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All suggested treatment settings are for suggested use only.