–by Alyssa Wing, LPN
Melasma is a condition of the skin where dark patches and spots appear. I personally have melasma on my forehead, so I know how it feels to be uncomfortable in your own skin, especially when you have a dark spot that’s noticeable.
Melasma is typically caused by birth control pills, an overabundance of sun exposure or tanning, and pregnancy. It is sometimes referred to as the “pregnancy mask.” Melasma can often be confused with regular hyperpigmentation/sun spots, so it is important to meet with a professional to determine if it is in fact melasma. Melasma cannot be permanently cured, but there are different products and treatments that can be done to keep it as light and unnoticeable as possible.
What Triggers Melasma?
Melasma can easily appear darker because of different factors from your day-to-day life, so it is important to be aware of the different triggers that can darken it. These triggers include:
- Sun exposure
- Birth control
- Hormonal imbalances or hormone replacement therapy medications
It is extremely important to wear sunscreen every single day, especially if you know you are going to be outside. If you are going to be outside for extended periods of time, you should be reapplying sunscreen every 1-2 hours. Melasma is very sensitive to sunlight and heat/humidity. Keeping your skin protected is key.
What Products Help Treat Melasma?
When searching for products that will help keep your melasma at bay, you want to look for specific ingredients known as tyrosinase inhibitors. The purpose of tyrosinase inhibitors are to stop the production of melanin in the skin, which is responsible for the pigment in your skin. Using the right products will help prevent further darkening of the patches/spots. Some of the most important tyrosinase inhibitors include azelaic acid, kojic acid, tranexamic acid, licorice root, vitamin C, vitamin B (also known as niacinamide), and hydroquinone.
Some of my favorite products for melasma include:
- Topicals Faded
- PCA Pigment Bar
- PCA Pigment Gel
- Epionce MelanoLyte Tx
- Epionce MelanoLyte Pigment Perfecting Serum
- Hydroquinone (prescription from the Spa)
What Procedures Can Treat Melasma?
There are many different treatments that can be done here at the spa to help break up melasma and make it appear lighter. Some of these treatments include chemical peels, MOXI, LaseMD, and HALO. Come see us for a consultation for a more in-depth description of each of these treatments, and to decide what would be the best option. It is important to always meet with a skincare specialist to come up with a customized plan that will work best for you, as everyone’s skin is different. Being on good products at home, along with corrective treatments here at the spa, will transform your overall skin tone!
For more information on products and treatments for melasma, call 585.244.1010 to speak to a Spa Coordinator and schedule your personal consultation.