Cracking the melasma code can mean big transformations, for both your patients and your practice.
Melasma is recognised as a skin condition that is extremely difficult to treat. Affecting around 80 per cent of women over 25, its relentless nature makes it difficult to treat and impossible to conquer.
Cosmelan Professional Treatment from Mesoesetetic, distributed in Australia by Advanced Cosmeceuticals, has been formulated to reduce the appearance of melasma within four weeks. It contains several naturally occurring tyrosinase inhibitors, including kojic acid, to reduce and prevent irregular pigmentation. The range has been shown to grant effective reduction of melasma within four weeks, and with only minimal irritation associated.
Why Kojic acid?
Topicals to treat melasma usually incorporate inhibitors of tyrosinase, a key enzyme in melanin production within the melanocyte. Until now, these products have usually been associated with adverse side effects and a long-haul to real results.
Cosmelan uses kojic acid (KA), which is a natural chelation agent and tyrosinase inhibitor produced by several species of fungi. A report by Jean Levy and Frederic Pons et al., conducted at the Centre Laser Dermatologique in France, explains the benefits of KA in the Cosmelan treatment line.
‘It is well established that tyrosinase is a key enzyme in the synthesis of melanin,’ the report states. ‘Depicted as a natural approach to skin depigmentation, Cosmelan features KA, which is extremely stable in solution and retains its potency over time.’
This KA complex is partnered with a high antioxidant vitamin complex, which stimulates collagen production and accelerates skin cell renewal for a rejuvenating effect. A vegetable extract complex is used to hydrate and soothe the skin, while sunscreen filters provide significant protection against UVA and UVB rays. Notably, Cosmelan also includes an exfoliating agent to accelerate the natural renewal of the skin’s upper layers and further reduce the appearance of pigmentation.
A four-week professional treatment with Cosmelan involves two phases. First, an in-clinic cleansing and exfoliation are performed to prepare the skin. Then, the entire face is covered with the Cosmelan 1 cream, creating a uniform, opaque mustard coloured mask. Notably, the mask blends into the skin tone – no matter what the skin type – so patients can resume normal activities while still wearing the product.
Patients leave the mask on for a specific time period, depending on their Fitzpatrick skin type (type I-II, 5 hours; types III-IV, eight hours and types V-VI, 10 hours) and then wash it off using soap and water.
Immediately following this, Hydra Vital Factor K cream is applied. This contains an effective mixture of active, anti-pigmentation and anti-ageing ingredients to help maintain and improve results.
The second phase is performed by the patient themselves. For seven days following the mask treatment, the patient applies Cosmelan 2 twice daily.
Cosmelan 2 contains identical ingredients to Cosmelan 1, except for a slightly lower concentration of KA. The home program can also be accompanied by Hydra Factor K cream, basic cleansers and, of course, sun protection.
For the final three weeks of the program, patients taper down to one application of Cosmelan 2 per day, still using Hydra Factor K cream alongside this. Though adverse reactions are common in the first week of treatment, this often resolves after the cessation of two applications per day.
Melasma clearance after the first week
A study conducted by Cosmelan’s scientific research team tested the effectiveness of the Cosmelan four-week treatment program on six female subjects (Fitzpatrick skin types II-V). All participants had been clinically diagnosed with melasma and were unresponsive to previous treatment types.
The mean age of the women was 40 years and their melasma duration had spanned anywhere from two to 20 years. The triggers of melasma varied throughout the group. Factors included menopause, pregnancy, oral contraceptives and all patients reported ultra-violet as an exacerbating factor.
‘All study participants experienced significant depigmentation of melasma, not only at study cessation, but at seven days following twice daily application of the maintenance cream,’ the report states. ‘This is much faster than previous studies and could be relative to the inclusion of various other botanical agents in the treatment line.’
Patients shown to endure side effects for improved results
One study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, enrolled 22 women with melasma into a split-faced trial lasting four months. The aim was to compare the effects of Cosmelan with another de-pigmentation product on the market.
The study found Cosmelan to be more effective in reducing the appearance of pigmentation and, even though some participants experienced mild irritation following use, they preferred the efficacy of Cosmelan over the alternative.
With documented results, the Cosmelan Professional Treatment affords an effective and fast track solution to the clearance of melasma pigmentation. The accessibility and usability of the treatment means patients are likely to adhere to the regimen, without experiencing any disruption in their social and professional lives. Most importantly, the clinical results show great promise for the management of melasma, in even the most resistant of patients.