Can you really cure melasma?
Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation and is also referred to as the mask of pregnancy, because it is sometimes triggered by an increase in hormones in pregnant women. However, it’s not ONLY limited to them and can affect women at all stages of life. In fact, women as young as teens or 20s could develop melasma and could be here to stay for decades.
Although melasma doesn’t hurt or cause any health problems, it can take a toll on an individual’s confidence. It doesn’t make it easier that this condition isn’t easy to treat.
Who gets melasma?
If you’re dark skinned, you’re more likely to get melasma, as darker skin will have more active pigment-producing cells. Melasma occurs when these cells become hyperactive and produce too much pigment in certain parts of the skin, similar to what causes brown age spots and freckles, but melasma patches tend to be larger.
Unfortunately for women, melasma is more common in them and is known to be hereditary. So if your mother has melasma, it’s likely you will too.
What causes melasma?
There are many causes for melasma but the 2 that stand out are hormones and sun exposure.
Melasma can be caused by fluctuations in certain hormones, which is why it commonly occurs during pregnancy. Changes in hormones due to the consumption of contraceptive pills or being placed on hormone replacement therapy can also trigger melasma.
The other main cause for melasma is sun exposure. Sun exposure in the form of the sun’s rays, heat and light could exacerbate melasma. Even places with heat, like saunas could worsen melasma.
Before you go about treating melasma, please do consult and confirm with your dermatologist that it is indeed melasma and to try to determine causes for the dark patches on your skin. Treatment for melasma is unlikely to be effective if the underlying cause isn’t determined and treated accordingly.
For a start, it’s important and absolutely necessary to include sunscreen into your daily routine. Use a good quality sunscreen to prevent the sun from aggravating the condition. When choosing a good sunscreen, do ensure it ticks off all the following boxes
- SPF 30 or higher
- Water resistant
- Broad spectrum ie protects against both UVA and UVB rays
For existing melasma that you want to rid of, there’re various laser treatments available to help diminish the appearance of these dark patches.
Melasma, as earlier stated is not easy to treat. Doctors would typically recommend a course of treatments to effectively reduce their appearance significantly. Porcelain Skin Program is a firm favourite with many patients who have tried it. Pico Pigment laser, an FDA approved treatment, is targeted to treat skin discolouration for skin whitening. Extra treats like the pearl eclat mask and aqua dermabrasion are included in the program for added glow and radiance to the skin.
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To maintain the effects from laser treatments, Special Effects Whitening and Brightening Cream is recommended for its dermal lightening properties. It helps to even out skin tone and repair skin damage, for a more radiant, luminous complexion.