Melasma (often called “pregnancy mask”) is a common skin problem that is characterized by brown to gray-brown patches on the face caused by an overproduction of pigment in the skin.
Common areas it appears are: cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin and upper lip. It can be an unsightly condition, but the good news is that there are treatments available! Read on to learn what causes melasma, and how Tropicalaser can help get rid of those embarrassing spots.
What Causes Melasma?
While the true cause is not clear, there are a few triggers doctors have determined that bring about the onset of melasma.
- Your sex: women are much more likely to suffer from melasma as the hormonal changes during pregnancy quite often bring with them a case of melasma (hence the name “pregnancy mask”).
- Skin tone: because melasma has to do with the colour-making cells in the skin(called melanocytes) producing too much colour, people with darker skin tones are more likely to suffer from melasma due to their increased number of melanocytes.
- Genetics: people who have a relative who suffered from melasma are much more likely to develop the condition.
- Sun exposure: UV light stimulates melanocytes, which can cause melasma to occur. This is why most people find their melasma is at its worst during the summer months.
- Cosmetics: certain skin care products that irritate your skin may worsen melasma.
Melasma Treatment Options
There are a number of treatment options available for people suffering with melasma. Depending on the severity, your dermatologist may recommend different treatments.
- Time: if your melasma was triggered by a change in hormones (like pregnancy), it may fade on its own! It is unlikely to disappear completely, however.
- Hydroquinone: this topical treatment works by lightening the skin where it is applied. You can purchase some hydroquinone products without a prescription, but they will not be as strong as what your dermatologist can prescribe you.
- Tretinoin and corticosteroids: sometimes a second medicine will be prescribed along with hydroquinone to enhance skin lightening.
- Procedures: if topical medicine is not relieving your melasma, your dermatologist may recommend a couple of different procedures. Common procedures for melasma include chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser therapy.
- Laser therapy: One of the newer melasma treatments is laser therapy. Here at Tropicalaser, we are able to successfully treat melasma with our Candela GentleMax laser.
A Bit More On Laser Therapy
Laser therapy for the treatment of melasma is increasing in popularity due to the treatment’s success when used in combination with other melasma treatment methods. Laser therapy uses specialized hand-pieces that filter light from different parts of the light spectrum. Each band of the spectrum has a wavelength that is ideal for different treatments, so the light that we use for sunspot removal will be different than the one used to treat melasma. The light emitted is absorbed by the pigment in the affected areas, subsequently reducing their appearance.
Get Rid Of Your Melasma Today
If you’re suffering from melasma, speak to a dermatologist about your treatment options. If you’d like to learn more about laser therapy specifically, give the team at Tropicalaser a call! They are ready to answer any questions you may have.