14 Dec Help for Melasma, the Toughest Type of Hyperpigmentation
There are different types of hyperpigmentation including “brown spots,” moles, freckles, “age spots,” and melasma. Spectrum Dermatology can help you reduce the visibility of all types of hyperpigmentation, including melasma. Melasma is relatively common, though it tends to especially affect pregnant women due to the intense hormone fluctuations during this time period. Melasma can appear as a brown spot, but it’s also often gray in color. In all people, and especially pregnant women, it often presents as a mask across the eyes and bridge of the nose—thus the colloquial term “mask of pregnancy.”
Melasma can occur anywhere on the body and almost always in places that are exposed to UV rays. Preventing melasma is always the best form of treatment, and this includes safeguarding the skin by seeking out shade, wearing long sleeves and pants, wide-brimmed hats, and wearing sunscreen correctly. You can certainly avoid exacerbating melasma and/or future presentations with these best practices, but what happens if you are already showing signs?
Why Melasma is So Challenging
Melasma holds the title of the most stubborn type of hyperpigmentation. It’s resistant to a lot of milder treatments, but a reputable dermatologist has the tools, technology, and experience to reduce its appearance. Identifying any preventable melasma triggers is part of this process. There’s nothing you can do about pregnancy hormones or a genetic predisposition to melasma, but sometimes melasma is caused by optional topical products like makeup. Just because you’ve used a product for years doesn’t mean it isn’t the cause. Similar to an allergy, the appearance of melasma can occur suddenly even with a product you’ve always used. As you can imagine, this really makes melasma difficult to pinpoint and this is why it’s so important to work with a dermatologist.
Most melasma treatments require a hybrid approach. Common treatment for melasma includes prescription bleaching creams for certain skin tones, chemical peels, and medical-grade lotions rich in vitamin A. Removing layers of the skin can be very helpful, and there are many ways to do this in addition to chemical peels. However, melasma can also be deep in the skin and may require a more aggressive approach.
Laser Skin Rejuvenation
Severe melasma often responds best to laser skin rejuvenation. Many times, this will require a combination of different laser treatments. Our clinic has one of the largest suites of lasers in the region, all proven to be safe and effective to treat a wide range of issues and skin tones. Not every person is a good match for every laser, regardless of the skin issue. For instance, some people with darker skin tones want to avoid specific lasers because of the risk of lightened skin patches in an undesirable pattern. If this is you, don’t worry. There are many fantastic lasers that can help with your melasma. You deserve to work with a dermatological team that customizes approaches to you and has the wide range of tools to do so.
Combining lasers with prescription-grade medication is a common approach as well. However, you want to be very careful with these topical products. We are one of the few clinics in the area that is accredited by the Physician Dispensing Association (PDA). That means we can both prescribe and offer your prescriptions at our clinic. There is no calling in orders, waiting in long lines at the pharmacy, or having to go two different places to get the melasma treatment you need. This means you save time, money, and can start using your product faster.
Get Melasma Help
Melasma isn’t dangerous, but it can affect your self-esteem and self-confidence. If you’re pregnant, this is one worry you can check off your list when you work with our dermatological team. Melasma might be particularly stubborn, and there’s no cure for it, but there are a number of ways to treat its symptoms. The good news is also that melasma will eventually go away on its own, so it’s unlikely you will have to undergo maintenance treatments for life. For those who are pregnant, melasma often disappears a few months post-partum.
Start your melasma treatment today by calling Spectrum Dermatology at 480-948-8400.