Melasma is a chronic and recurrent skin condition that presents as darker areas of pigmentation on the face. The condition usually worsens in the summer or when exposed to the sun.
Who gets melasma?
While it can happen in men or women, women are far more likely to develop melasma. Melasma can be caused by multiple factors including genetics, sun exposure or hormonal factors (pregnancy, oral contraception or hormone replacement therapy).
What are the treatments for melasma?
While melasma may not completely resolve, it can be improved by avoiding sun exposure with sun protective clothing (hats) and consistent sunscreen use, topical treatment and peels/microdermabrasion. Beyond prevention, there are some treatment options available that can help minimize pigmentation.
Hydroquinone: This topical prescription lightening cream can help reduce pigmentation. It must be used consistently for several months to see results. Your provider will review expectations and proper use with you at your office visit.
Exfoliating cleansers: Glycolic and/or salicylic acid cleansers help to exfoliate the top layer of the skin and increase cellular turnover resulting in a brightening effect and allow for better penetration of topical treatments.
Chemical peels and microdermabrasion: There are multiple exfoliating options that can help improve skin texture and pigmentation. These include chemical peels (Glycolic and Salicylic acid), Dermasweep Microdermabrasion and the more intensive VI Peel. Your aesthetician can discuss your concerns with you and help choose the most effective treatment.