Melasma is a very common concern among the clients I see in my studio.
Often called “the mask of pregnancy”, the discolored patches of skin are triggered by hormonal activity and sunlight.
The first step in any treatment plan is to determine what triggers your skin discoloration.
If hormonal fluctuations cause the discoloration, it is considered melasma.
If the discoloration is from acne inflammation, it is considered hyper-pigmentation. A treatment plan for hyper-pigmentation will include products and treatments to keep the acne under control, as well as treat the pigment left behind.
Adequate, daily, sun protection is a part of the treatment plan for discoloration. The sun is a trigger for any melanin disorder, regardless of the trigger. SPF with a physical ingredient is more effective at controlling pigment than SPF with a chemical ingredient.
Treating melasma is a two step process. First, remove the existing pigmented skin and second, prevent new pigment from forming.
Melasma pigment is removed with varying degrees of exfoliation using microdermabrasion, chemical peels or lasers. The best treatment for you depends on your skin tone, your lifestyle, the amount of downtime you are comfortable with, and the amount of money you are willing to spend.
Melasma is controlled with religious sunscreen application, regular exfoliation, topical vitamin c and a rotation of hydroquinone and botanical skin lightening creams. A consult with a skin care professional will determine the best routine for your skin and your lifestyle.
Lifestyle is an important consideration for melasma treatments. You can erase all the pigment spots you currently have only to see them return after an hour unprotected in the sun. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, please consider a more moderate approach.
Do you have questions about your skin and what products you should be using? Have an Online Skin Care Consult with Hannah!