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Melasma and Hormonal Pigmentation

IRREGULAR PIGMENT? Do you suffer from Melasma?

is a condition, more commonly seen in females, where brown pigmentation appears on the face. Typically, it often involves the forehead, cheeks and upper lip, and it can be associated with the hormonal changes of pregnancy and taking the oral contraceptive.

The condition is purely cosmetic, meaning there are no medical implications or effect on your health, as a result of developing melasma.

However, due to its often frustrating appearance which can be difficult to hide with makeup, many patients choose to have their melasma treated.

Melasma can be difficult to treat and often the goal of treatment is improvement rather than a complete cure.

At Skin Nerd, we have extensive knowledge in the development of melasma and the difference between epidermal & dermal pigmentation disorders. We have experience treating this skin condition and offer a range of options including :

  • Topical brightening creams
  • Q-switched Nd:YAG laser
  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
  • Skin Peels
  • De-Pigmenting Treatments

One of the most important factors in the development of melasma is exposure to sunlight. Strict sun protection whenever you are in the sun, through the use of high SPF sunscreen and other sun protection measures, is an essential cornerstone of any melasma treatment.

At Skin Nerd we also understand that melasma is a highly individual condition that calls for a customised treatment plan. Thanks to our skill and training, we can assess skin problems, diagnose the underlying conditions that may be the cause, and determine the best possible treatments for melasma based on each patient’s unique circumstances.

 

MELASMA BASICS

Melasma affects men and women of every race, but is more commonly found in women with darker fitzpatrick skin tones. This isn't always the case but more commonly diagnosed

Melasma is:

  • Characterised by skin that looks darker than the surrounding skin
  • Generally visible on the face, but can occur on any part of the skin exposed to the sun
  • Made worse by exposure to the sun
  • Often affects women during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
  • The pattern of pigmentation that develops is often present on the sides of the face, chin, upper lip and under eye area

Important note about skin pigmentation changes: See your dermatologist if you develop any unexplained discoloration on the skin. Although melasma does not require treatment, a dermatologist can distinguish melasma from other skin disorders that might need to be treated.

Major Symptoms of Melasma

Melasma causes discoloured patches on the skin, generally on the face. These patches are most likely to occur on:

  • Chin
  • Cheeks
  • Forehead
  • Upper lip
Who Gets Melasma in Australia?

Many clients frequently ask, “Why is this happening to me?” Our skin experts reassure them that melasma is a common skin condition that is related to

  • Pregnancy
  • Complexion (not restricted to but more common in people with dark or olive skin)
  • Being a woman of reproductive age
  • Drugs and medical conditions that affect hormones
  • Medications that increase sun-sensitivity
  • Cosmetics that can irritate the skin
  • Sunlight exposure
  • Genetics – melasma can run in families

Though the tendency to have melasma can never really be cured, it can be treated to minimise its effect.

 

TREATMENTS FOR MELASMA

The hyperpigmentation of melasma develops gradually, and resolution is also gradual. Resistant cases and recurrences of this skin condition are not uncommon. For some people melasma is a lifelong condition.

In pregnant women and new mothers, the dark patches of melasma usually fade as their hormones stabilise. Women who take oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy often see the patches fade once they stop taking the medications.

For women whose melasma does not improve, and for men who have problems with this skin pigmentation problem, there are four main categories of treatment*:

Topical Treatment for Melasma – lightening creams, chemical peels, acid preparations, retinoids.

Chemical Peels – The skin experts at Skin Nerd use chemical peels to promote skin turnover, which helps the process of improvement. Peels are also helpful in shifting melanin deposits from the affected area. Of the three levels of chemical peels, the skin experts at Skin Nerd usually recommend light chemical peels, as stronger chemical peels can stimulate the production of new pigmentation.

Laser & Multi Service Treatments for Melasma – Light therapy not only removes targeted tissue in melasma-affected skin, it also contributes to improving excess pigmentation in the surrounding skin. A combination of laser treatments for stubborn melasma is most effective as part of a program that includes shutting down blood supply that stimulates the pigment, skin peels and sun avoidance, topical treatments, and other strategies to prevent pigment gain.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Patients who come to Skin Nerd looking for laser & skin solutions to manage melasma can receive treatment for their skin pigment ensuring they receive the best possible consultation and care when selecting a combination treatment that will work best for the individual

 

GET IN TOUCH!

You’re in good hands with the team at Skin Nerd. Our qualified Clinical skin technicians can assist and guide you with the right treatment options available. Give us a call today to discuss what’s right for you!