Melasma Treatment Bellevue & Kirkland

Most people will experience a change in skin pigmentation over time. Whether it be melasma, sun damage, or hypopigmentation, it can cause distress. Melasma is one of the most common skin pigmentation issues among women. Notoriously hard to treat, successful melasma treatment requires a professional who understands and utilizes the tenants of both beauty and medicine. The master estheticians at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery provide the best melasma treatment Bellevue and Kirkland offer.

What Is Melasma?

Melasma is a patchy darkening of the skin that most commonly occurs symmetrically on the cheeks, chin, forehead, nose, and lips. It is possible—but not common—to get melasma on other parts of the body such as the neck or arms. Melasma is linked to the estrogen and progesterone hormones. Thus, melasma almost always affects women. Though men can develop it.

Unlike other skin conditions, melasma is not painful and itchy. It can occur with other conditions that cause these symptoms, but melasma itself does not cause them. Other than discoloration, there are few symptoms associated with melasma.

Anyone can experience melasma. However, certain risk factors can make someone more likely to develop it in their lifetime. Some melasma risk factors include:

  • Being assigned female at birth
  • Between ages 20 and 40
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Having a medium or darker skin tone
  • Known family history of melasma
  • Regular, unprotected sun exposure
  • Certain medications such as some medications for seizures, high blood pressure, and other skin conditions (not all medications for these conditions increase the risk of melasma)


Melasma can have several causes; sometimes the exact cause is unclear. Though, as previously mentioned, there is a clear and known link between melasma and certain hormones. Therefore, the most common causes involve elevated levels of these hormones. Of course, these are not the only triggers of melasma. Among the possible causes and contributing factors of melasma include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Oral contraceptives or hormone therapy
  • Sun damage
  • Thyroid disease
  • Tanning beds/regular tanning
  • Stress
  • Genetics
  • Phototoxic reaction to cosmetics
  • Genetics

Before & After

A Before and After photo of Laser Skin Resurfacing by Master Estheticians in Bellevue, Kirkland, and Lynnwood.

Before & After

A Before and After photo of Laser Skin Resurfacing by Master Estheticians in Bellevue, Kirkland, and Lynnwood.

Melasma Treatment Options In Bellevue

As mentioned, melasma is exceptionally hard to treat. There is no definitive cure and oftentimes it will go away on its own. People with long-term melasma that is not resolved after pregnancy or stopping hormonal medications may need professional treatment for reduction.

The master estheticians at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery have extensive experience in helping to treat melasma. They will work with you to determine the right professional melasma treatments for you. Your master esthetician will also give you a good understanding of the results you can expect.

Intense Pulsed Light

Intense pulsed light—or IPL—was the gold standard treatment for melasma around a decade ago. While it can still help improve melasma in some people, it is no longer the go-to melasma treatment. This is because the long-term outlook in chronic sufferers is not optimal. However, for those experiencing short-term melasma, IPL may help.


Collagen induction therapy, better known as microneedling, is an ideal treatment for melasma because it treats the layers of skin where melasma occurs. It is also entirely safe for all skin tones, unlike laser and light options. 

Microneedling helps the body naturally get rid of the increased melanocytes in the melasma-afflicted areas. As the body repairs the small punctures from microneedling treatment, it clears excess pigment with the damaged skin cells.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are one of the most effective exfoliating procedures available. Using a specific blend of skin-safe substances in higher concentrations than available over-the-counter, master estheticians clear away dead skin and cause the skin to peel and reveal renewed skin beneath. Like microneedling, this can help your body slowly remove the melanocytes causing melasma. 

Light chemical peels are safe for almost all skin. Stronger peels such as the VI Peel may treat any skin tone, but may require a patch test first. Some of the peel bases possible for melasma treatment may include:

  • Lactic acid
  • Trichloroacetic acid
  • Salicylic acid
  • Kojic acid
  • Azelaic acid

Glow Up Package

The Glow Up Package is one of the most popular package treatment options at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery. It involves alternating three chemical peels and three microneedling sessions over several weeks. Each procedure is usually spaced around four to six weeks apart. This allows the skin to adequately heal between treatments. It also ensures that the skin is constantly working to rejuvenate the skin and rid itself of unnecessary pigment.

Brightening Cream

Brightening cream is one of the less invasive options for treating melasma. Often, if you have not tried it before, your master esthetician will recommend it as the first stage of treatment. It can also supplement other treatments. Consisting of a prescription-strength dose of hydroquinone, the brightening cream helps deactivate the melanocytes causing over-pigmentation. At this dosage and when used for melasma, it should not lighten your overall skin tone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes Melasma Worse?

Melasma can become worse for a variety of reasons, including no reason at all. You may experience worsened melasma due to:

  • Stress
  • Sun exposure
  • Other sources of UV light
  • Makeup or certain cosmetics
  • Waxing

Protect your skin from the sun’s rays if you have melasma by wearing an SPF and a hat regularly. If you have other symptoms consistent with hormonal disorders, it is worth undergoing tests to determine if there is a larger hormonal cause of your melasma. Treating any underlying disorders can help ease melasma. Finally, be careful about using makeup and cosmetics because they can worsen the appearance of melasma.

Is Melasma Treatment Permanent?

There is no permanent cure for melasma. With that said, it is possible that after undergoing treatment, patients may never have their melasma reappear. However, others may see it flare up multiple times in their lifetime. Ultimately, if melasma bothers you, seeking professional treatment may help, but is unlikely to completely cure it forever.

What Are The Three Different Types Of Melasma?

  • Epidermal: Often appearing as brown spots, epidermal melasma tends to respond better to treatment than other types. It will have well defined borders and appear obviously in black light.
  • Dermal: Ranging in color from light brown to blueish to gray, dermal melasma is much more difficult to treat. It will usually not appear differently under a black light. The borders are also fuzzy and difficult to define.
  • Mixed: The most common type of melasma, mixed melasma, includes features of both epidermal and dermal melasma. It may include various patches of brown, blue, and grayish patches. Mixed melasma may show some moderate response to treatment.

How Can I Cure My Melasma Naturally?

If you search the internet, you will likely find several natural treatments for melasma. However, these treatments tend to provide little to no improvement. The topical treatments that your master esthetician may recommend such as brightening cream come from natural sources. There are lifestyle choices you can make that can help reduce your risk of melasma and its appearance of it.

The best holistic treatments you can practice to help treat and prevent melasma include:

  • Live a healthy lifestyle
  • Eat a nutrient rich diet, particularly Vitamin D
  • Take good care of your skin
  • Go in for yearly checkups with your doctor
  • Always protect your skin from the sun with broad spectrum SPF
  • Avoid tanning beds and tanning
  • Reduce stress
  • Give it time (melasma associated with pregnancy often goes away once you are no longer pregnant)

What Is The Cost Of Melasma Treatment In Bellevue?

The cost of your melasma treatment in Bellevue can only be determined after a consultation. You can find a list of our procedure pricing on our price list. Then, you can use Price Simulator to add up the estimated total of multiple procedures. You will receive a personalized price quote after a free skin consultation with a master esthetician.

The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery works with outside financing companies including Care Credit to help you find affordable financing for all of your procedures. You can find more information and links to apply on our financing page.

I've had an amazing experience with Heather at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery. As indicated in many other reviews, Heather's experience and knowledge in skincare transcends far beyond traditional practices in the beautification of the skin and Heather will help you understand the condition of your skin, make recommendations to improve, and work with you to rejuvenate how you look and feel. Heather also has a pulchritudinous personality and coupled with her extensive experience, you will walk out with a scintillating smile.


This was my first time getting a procedure like this done. All the people in the office were so kind and did not make me feel out of place at all. I was spoken to like a person and able to be at ease during a very new experience. I am so very glad I chose this office.


I've been working with Heather and it has been wonderful! Great staff, excellent service, wonderful experience and results all around. I'll be coming back for more services, and will be happily passing along recommendations.


The “BEST” experience per usual from the initial appt. set-up to tx stage 100%! I’m always blown away with the professionalism of all staff but….. mostly my one on one tx with Kyla🤩 absolutely incredible! Kyla is warm, gentle and mostly caring! She even had the time to leave a post op check that evening to see how I was feeling! Job well done for having her on your team! I can’t wait until my next tx🤗🤗


The Best Bellevue Melasma Treatment At The Gallery Of Cosmetic Surgery

The master estheticians at The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery have experience in treating a variety of skin conditions including acne, fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, and melasma. Using a combination of beauty and medical treatment techniques for the skin, our master estheticians offer the best of both worlds for melasma treatment in Bellevue. At a free skin consultation, your master esthetician will customize a melasma treatment plan based on your specific needs and situation. The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery performs the best melasma treatment Bellevue and Kirkland provide.

The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery is a premier plastic surgery clinic and medical spa in Lynnwood, WA. Perfectly located to serve patients from the Eastside communities of Bellevue and Kirkland as well as Seattle, The Gallery of Cosmetic Surgery is the top destination for all your cosmetic and aesthetic needs.

To learn more and schedule a free consultation with a master esthetician, call us at 425-775-3561. You can also reach out online using chat, contact form, or Price Simulator.