Have you noticed a ﬂare-up of dark spots or patches on your cheeks, nose, upper lip, chin or forehead? Does it look like you just have an uneven tan that seem to never go away. Well, it could be a common skin condition that causes hyper-pigmentation and is triggered by your own hormones, called Melasma.
Melasma is a skin condition in the form of hyper-pigmentation that typically appears as symmetric blotchy hyper-pigmented dark spot or patches on the face, usually seen on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and upper lip. It may also appear on other parts of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as your neck and forearms.
Right about now you’re probably asking yourself if you have Melasma. In fact, you’re probably looking in the mirror comparing each spot on your face to see if any are symmetrical. If you’ve noticed any that look identical the next question is.. why and what is causing this?
What causes Melasma?
The “why” and “what” is the cause of Melasma are two very important questions that have plague experts for decades and still remain unanswered today. Although the main cause of melasma is unknown, experts believe the condition may occur from an overproduction of color-producing skin cells, known as melanocytes. It is believed that these melanocytes are triggered mainly by hormonal influences which offers an explanation as to why women are more likely to develop melasma than men. Melasma is often referred to as the “pregnancy mask”, due to vast hormonal changes in which pigmentation spots appear on the face during pregnancy.
Other hormonal influences include: starting or switching birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, increase body temperature (ie. exercise), genetics and UV exposure (ie. sun), can stimulate melanocyte activity causing pigmentation. Continued sun exposure especially in the summer months tends to worsen and darken the pigmentation where as in the winter you will noticed a lightening of the area. This condition affect all ethnicities, however, it is mainly seen in those with darker skin tones.
Melasma.. Ok now what?
Feelings of frustration and not know what do next can be overwhelming. Here at Clinique Dallas we recommend a skin care consultation were our aesthetician will discuss your concerns to help your reach your desired results. Each patient is unique, therefore, each treatment plan is unique and is tailored to each patient specific needs. Due to the hormonal influences, melasma is best treated with a combination of facial treatments and at home skin care products that help lighten and reduce the hyper-pigmentation over time.
The facial treatments we offer include: Vi Peel, Melange Peel, and Halo Hybrid Fractional laser. Chemical Peels are a highly concentrated exfoliants that break down the layers of pigment and the Halo is a resurfacing laser that has both ablative and non-ablative components that target pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Some treatments may require preparation which will be discussed during the consultation along with pre- and post-care of the treatment.
There is not over night cure for melasma but with a little patience, at home skin care regimen and facial treatments, together we can achieve visible results.