Do you have dark patches on your skin? This may be melasma. Read below to learn more.
What is melasma?
Melasma is a relatively condition characterized by the appearance of dark patches on the skin. The most common areas that are affected are the forehead, upper cheeks, and skin above the upper lip. When melasma is seen on the skin above the upper lip, it sometimes looks like you have a moustache. However, other areas can be affected ass well. Melasma occurs almost exclusively in women.
What causes melasma?
Melasma is caused by an internal imbalance of hormones that makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. So getting a little bit of sun exposure can create dark patches that look like a sun tan in one area. Usually, melasma is seen when women have changes in their hormones such as when they get pregnant, which is why melasma is sometimes called the mask of pregnancy. But melasma can be seen at other times such as after childbirth or when you start or stop birth control pills. Sometimes melasma is genetic and it happens at other times. Most of the time melasma goes away on its own after menopause, but that may be a long way away for some people.
How can I treat my melasma?
Melasma is a condition that is controlled, not cured. So you have to understand that the results may not be perfect and recurrence is common. Many people think that since melasma is caused by an imbalance of hormones, if you check your hormones you can address it. Unfortunately, this is not the case. However, there are other things you can do. First you need to understand that melasma is a condition where your skin becomes sensitive to the sun. So protecting yourself is very important. Use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more every day, even if you’re not outside since a little bit of sun that comes in through a window may trigger your melasma. Melasma is seen more frequently in the summer months. This can be either because people spend more time outdoors in the summer or that the sun’s ray are stronger in the summer.
Melasma is best treated with a comprehensive approach. This includes combining a good skin care regimen with appropriate treatments. Your skin care regimen should always include a good sunscreen. Other products that will help lighten this skin include the A E Skin Brightening Cream, A E Skin Exfoliating Serum, A E Skin Triple Antioxidant Serum, and A E Skin Green Tea Essentials Illuminating Cream. These products contain ingredients that block the formation of the pigment melanin. These ingredients include hydroquinone, kojic acid, salicylic acid, and vitamin C. It’s important to first start using these products for a good three months before any treatment. This will decrease the amount of pigment in your skin.
In terms of treatments, although many treatments can work for melasma, Dr. Alex finds the #nofilter treatment to be the most effective. The #nofilter treatment combines a Forever Young BBL IPL Photofacial treatment with an Ultra Microneedling treatment. The Forever Young BBL IPL Photofacial treatment uses bright light to target and destroy pigment in your skin. The Forever Young BBL IPL Photofacial treatment is done differently for melasma than for other things. Although usually you get add additional pulses on areas of concern, with melasma this is avoided. This is because it could heat up the skin, making the melasma worse. This is why many people recommend avoiding IPL treatments. However, the Forever Young BBL IPL Photofacial treatment allows Dr. Alex to adjust the settings to avoid this potential side effect. The Ultra Microneedling treatment creates tiny holes in the skin. In the case of melasma, these holes allow the pigment to come out of the skin.
When you combine a good skin care regimen with the appropriate treatments, your melasma will be noticeably improved. Dr. Alex recommends starting with the skin care regiment for three months, then having a series of six #nofilter treatments done every six to eight weeks. You’ll need to stop your skin care products for a week before and after each treatment to avoid irritation.