Melasma is a very common skin condition, characterized by dark patches of skin, usually brown to brown-gray in colour, most commonly found on the face.
Melasma is an embarrassing condition that is much easier to prevent than treat, however there are some excellent options out there!
Read on to find out ways to prevent Melasma, as well as what you can do to minimize the appearance if you have it.
What Causes Melasma?
The 2 most common causes of melasma are sun exposure, as well as hormonal changes in women.
In pregnant women melasma is often more prominent, affecting the cheekbones, nose and jaw, giving it the name the “pregnancy mask.” If hormonal changes in the body are the trigger, it may fade on its own once the hormones are regulated again, however this is not always the case. Other hormonal causes of melasma may be due to taking oral contraceptives or a hormonal imbalance, such as a thyroid condition. Melasma can even be a result of stress, as stress influences the hormones.
The other main cause is over-exposure to the sun, as the sun may trigger an over-production of melanin in the skin, resulting in hyperpigmentation.
Who Does Melasma Affect?
Melasma can affect any women, but most often those who have had over-exposure to the sun for many years, or those going through hormonal changes.
Melasma is also more prevalent in those who have a genetic predisposition, as well those with darker skin tones.
How Can I Prevent It?
Preventing melasma may be impossible when related to hormonal changes during pregnancy, but to keep your hormones regulated be sure to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Be sure to wear an SPF of at least 30, but possibly higher, every time you step foot outdoors, as this is one cause we can prevent.
How Can I Treat It?
This is a cream that can be purchased over-the-counter or by prescription. It lightens the skin by interfering with melanin production. It can only be used in the short-term though, and it can cause skin reactions in sensitive individuals. Always be sure to do a patch test before applying to a large area.
Cortisone and Tretinoin Prescription Creams
These creams are available via your doctor and work well in conjunction with hyrdroquinone to lighten the pigmentation. Used alone, it can take up to 6 months to produce results.
This is an excellent natural method to treat melasma, as vitamin C is wonderful for providing a natural bleaching affect without chemicals. Look for natural skincare containing vitamin C, such as a daily cleanser or cream, or apply a vitamin C mask once a week for faster results.
Fractional Laser Skin resurfacing
This is the best treatment for melasma in our opinion. Fractional non ablative resurfacing works by sending an array of high precision microbeams deep into the dermis. This creates narrow, deep columns of skin coagulation, surrounded by healthy, untreated skin. Treating the area with light energy that penetrates deeply into the dermis, helps to break up the pigment into small particles.
You can find this service at MD Esthetics. There has been much success with this treatment, the results are fast and there are minimal to no side-effects.
Don’t let melasma rule your life anymore. Try our tips above and start to feel confident in your skin again!