What is melasma?
Melasma is a common skin condition that's characterized by brown or gray-ish brown facial patches. These patches can appear anywhere on the face, including cheeks, forehead, chin and nose. It occurs when patches of skin produce more melanin than the surrounding area.
Sometimes called chloasma, melasma is more likely to impact women than men. This is because it's linked to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy or oral contraceptives. Sun exposure can also cause melasma.
Though it's not curable, it is possible to treat melasma. Establishing a consistent skincare routine is critical to improving your melasma. Our team specializes in melasma treatment and can curate an individualized plan that'll help you get your melasma under control.
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What causes melasma?
Melanin is what gives your skin color – if you have a darker complexion you have more melanin, and if you have a light complexion then you have less melanin. The tiny cells that produce melanin are called melanocytes. In some cases, these cells are overly active and will produce more melanin in certain parts of the face. The end result is melasma.
There are several factors that can cause you to develop melasma, like hormones, sun exposure and even genetics. While variables like complexion and genetics are out of your control, it helps to understand what other factors might increases your chances of forming melasma. Knowing the root cause behind your melasma can give you and your provider a better understanding of how to tackle it.
Genetics can play a role in whether or not you develop melasma. If you have relatives with melasma, you're more likely to have it yourself.
Increased estrogen is one of the biggest culprits behind melasma. This is why it's typically more common among women than men, especially during pregnancy.
Speaking of hormones, melasma frequently appears during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. This is because your body is producing more estrogen and progesterone. Though it does fade after pregnancy, it can take upwards of a year for your skin to return to "normal." There's a reason why melasma is called the "mask of pregnancy"!
Since melasma is linked in an increase in estrogen, medicines that impact hormone levels (like birth control pills) increase your chances of developing it.
Sun exposure also increases your chances of developing melasma. Ultraviolet (UV) rays cause your skin to form more melanin, making melasma more noticeable.
Individuals with medium to medium-dark toned complexions are more likely to experience melasma. Conversely, if you have a very light or very dark complexion, you're less likely to develop melasma.
Working with an experienced provider to develop a simple and consistent skincare regimen can make a huge impact when it comes to melasma.
At Bespoke, we'll work with you to curate an individualized plan that meets your exact needs. Melasma necessitates a multimodality treatment plan depending on variables like seasons, stress, hormones and lifestyle. Along with primary prevention (wear your hats and sunscreen!), we typically take a combination approach that combines essential melanocyte inhibitors, multiple different lasers based on pigment type and flare, specialized peels and oral supplements. One treatment, the Hollywood Laser, is able to safely target pigmentation caused by melasma while boosting collagen production. Individual sessions take less than 30 minutes and have minimal downtime.
You might be prone to developing melasma due to genetics and complexion, but there are steps you can take to avoid it from worsening. The biggest thing you can do is limit sun exposure. Patients with melasma often have signs of sun damage as well. If you are going to be in the sun, make sure to wear proper sunscreen and a hat.
We're Here to Help
If you're struggling with melasma, know that we're here to help: Our team has a deep understanding of how to best treat melasma, and can make a plan that works for you.
Call us today to learn more: 737.275.0725