Melasma

What is Melasma?

Have you noticed small patches of brown skin becoming visible on your face? Melasma, also known as chloasma or the “pregnancy mask,” is a malformation of the body’s melanin-producing cells, which are responsible for pigmentation of the skin. When these cells, known as melanocytes, have been altered, brown patches will appear.
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What causes Melasma?

There are a couple ways you can develop melasma, but the most prevalent reasons are sun exposure and hormonal fluctuations. In fact, melasma is even referred to as the “pregnancy mask” because of its frequency among pregnant women.

The exact causation of melasma due to hormonal imbalances is not known. It has been theorized that increased estrogen and progesterone levels may stimulate melanocytes which would cause the body to overproduce pigment.

The causations of melasma include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Using oral or patch contraceptives
  • Undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • Darker skin complexions (genetic predisposition)
  • Living in regions with intense sun exposure

What are the symptoms of Melasma?

Melasma will appear on the skin in the form of brownish patches. These patches tend to emerge on the forehead, cheeks, nose, upper lip and chin and typically appear symmetrically on both sides of the face. Melasma commonly afflicts women in the age range of 20 to 50, but men can also be susceptible to the condition.

Melasma is frequently mistaken for freckles or sun spots, but correctly diagnosing your condition is crucial. An accurate diagnosis will not only adequately treat your condition, it will also help to prevent further damage to your skin. There is no pain that accompanies this condition. There may be some mental frustrations and self-consciousness felt with this condition due to the uneven tone of the skin.

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How can you treat Melasma?

Unfortunately, melasma cannot be cured, but its appearance can be dramatically reduced. Prevention, maintenance and reversing the signs of melasma are the main points of a RejuvaYou’s Melasma treatment plan.

Prevention is the number one key in the treatment of melasma. In particular, avoiding sun exposure and properly protecting yourself from sunlight are major components in combating melasma. Melasma can be agitated by heat, so no matter what the weather is like, it is recommended that you wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat everyday. Additionally, a sunscreen that contains broad-spectrum protection SPF 30 or higher and zinc or titanium oxide is strongly recommended for daily application.

Based on the patient history and sensitivities, RejuvaYou determines what type of topical creams would be the most effective for the patient. Skin lightening creams, especially those that contain hydroquinone, have been proven to diminish pigmentation. In addition, creams that contain retinoids, kojic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid can be used to lightening the skin. You should always consult with a doctor before using creams that contain these ingredients, especially if used in combination, as they could have damaging effects on your skin. It may take several weeks before noticing results from such treatment. Based on the evaluation, RejuvaYou can also make recommendations for supplements that can improve the melasma.

Finally, laser technology is an extremely effective way to dramatically reduce the appearance of melasma. Lutronic’s Spectra laser is the only treatment that is currently FDA approved. The Spectra is a Q-switched laser that specializes in breaking down hyperpigmentation, and is also the first of its kind to be recognized as a suitable treatment for melasma. Treatments are determined by the Physician or the Physician Assistants.

Although there is no known cure, melasma can be maintained with a thorough and dedicated treatment plan. That is why it is very important to seek a consultation with a doctor specifically trained in aesthetic medicine. A doctor that is familiar with melasma and its treatment options will best be able to develop a treatment regimen that is customized to meet your skin’s needs.

RejuvaYou is proud to say that we were one of the first practices to successfully treat melasma with Lutronic’s Spectra laser. As a result, RejuvaYou has been an experienced leader in holistically targeting melasma. Our resolution is to combine this exciting new technology with topical medications in order to provide the most successful results possible.

Some treatments and procedures even have the potential to make melasma worse. Melasma can be agitated by heat, which means that some lasers can actually make melasma worse. At RejuvaYou, we always perform a Visia Skin Analysis before treatments to determine if there are any underlying conditions.

If you think you may have melasma, just click the link below and schedule a free evaluation . If it is likely that you have melasma, we will adjust our protocols accordingly and give you recommendations that will give you the best results!

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