Melasma (muh-LAZ-muh) is a patch of hyperpigmentation that appears on the face and neck. It’s an incredibly common skin problem. You can recognize it by its patchy brown, blue-gray, or tan blemishes on the skin. These spots usually appear on the forehead, cheeks, bridge of the nose, chin, and above the upper lip. They can also appear on the body, particularly in areas that get lots of sun.
Melasma predominately occurs in women, usually ages 20-50. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, just 10% of melasma cases occur in men. The condition often appears suddenly.
Occurrences of melasma are often due to the perfect storm of hormonal changes and sun exposure. Ultraviolet light stimulates the melanocytes. It doesn’t take strong or lengthy UV exposure to cause melasma, which is why the blemishes can return shortly after fading or worsen during the summer months.
Genetics and skin care products can also cause or inflame the condition. People with darker skin tones are more likely to develop it, as are people with a blood relative who has melasma.
Pregnant women are more prone to melasma. It’s often referred to as pregnancy mask or chloasma. Birth control pills or hormone replacement medications can also trigger it.
Melasma is difficult to treat, but you can find relief. Use of a strict sunblock is a must, as is the selection of the right skin care products. Some products can increase or inflame the patchy blemishes that are melasma. In fact, some of the makeup you may be using to hide those spots could be causing them to worsen.
Successful melasma treatments require a tailored approach – an approach we specialize in at Dermacare. Those unwanted spots can sometimes be lifted with chemical peels.
BBL light treatments are also effective and can decrease the appearance of hyperpigmentation. In some instances, we find that a custom combination of BBL and chemical peels produces the best results for some patients.
Skin care products are also important to melasma treatments. Since some products can increase the appearance of melasma or trigger an episode, choosing products that don’t inflame the condition while simultaneously promoting better skin health is important. But how do you choose? With the literally thousands of products available, where do you start?
Our complimentary Dermacare Consultation is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Not only can we discuss your melasma and medical history to start formulating a custom treatment plan based on your desired outcome, but we can also start pinpointing the factors contributing to your melasma episodes.
We use an Emage 3-D Imaging system, which allows us to see under the surface of your skin. Our staff are all highly trained medical experts, and we know medical grade skin care products – the kind of products that work to actually improve skin cells’ function. Our approach isn’t merely aesthetic. We work to improve the health of your skin because healthy skin naturally looks great!
Be sure to follow us as we take a closer look at the skin care products we champion and provide more skin care tips. In the meantime, if you suffer from melasma, contact us to schedule your personal melasma treatment consultation.