What is melasma? How is it different from hyper-pigmentation or freckles?
Melasma is a dark patch of skin, usually triggered by hormones and sun exposure. Hyper-pigmentation is a dark patch of skin, usually triggered by inflammation (such as acne) and sun exposure. Freckles are dark patches on the skin, often present since birth but they get darker with sun exposure.
The one common denominator? SUN EXPOSURE! Any unusual melanin activity is made worse by excessive, unprotected sun exposure.
The first step to treating discoloration and preventing new discoloration, no matter what the cause, is adequate sun protection.
The next step is to determine the root cause. Are you using hormonal birth control? Is the hyper-pigmentation showing up in areas where you previously has acne? This helps determine what treatment products are best for you.
Melasma triggered by pregnancy or birth control will usually begin to fade on its own 3-6 months after hormone levels have returned to normal.
Hyper-pigmentation from inflammation can take a few weeks to a few months to fade, depending on the melanin content of the skin.
A comprehensive routine of home care and professional treatments is the best way to treat both melasma and hyper-pigmentation.
Do you have questions about your skin and what products you should be using? Have an Online Skin Care Consult with Hannah!