WHAT IS MELASMA?
Melasma is occasionally referred to as “chloasma” or “the mask of pregnancy”, although it is oftentimes seen in people who are not pregnant. It is a skin pigment disorder that is seen as patchy brown areas of skin on sun-exposed areas like the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, nose, and chin. Melasma is seen in people of all skin tones and age groups, which makes it one of the more sought after treatments.
WHAT CAUSES MELASMA?
Melasma is due to an overproduction of pigment (“melanin”) by the cells in the affected areas. Even with minimal exposure to the sun, ultraviolet light makes these areas darker. Female hormone fluctuations contribute to melasma, like pregnancy, birth control pills, and certain types of hormone therapy exacerbate the condition. In addition to ultraviolet light and hormone fluctuations, melasma is also exacerbated by excessive exposure to heat as well as inflammation.
HOW IS MELASMA COMMONLY TREATED?
Unfortunately, melasma is a chronic condition and there is no one-time “cure” for it. However, there are several treatment options that allow our clients to maintain and lighten the appearance of melasma.
The first line of treatment usually includes a topical regimen that’s been customized for your skin by Dr. Neitzel MD or one of our professionally trained medical aesthetic professionals. This at-home protocol is based on your skin features, classification, and condition. This regimen will often include bleaching agents (like hydroquinone), retinoids, and other topicals that minimize oil (“sebum”) production by your skin. Strict photoprotection with sunblock containing physical blockers, like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, is also an essential part of treating melasma.
Dr. Neitzel MD also has access to chemical peels and top of line aesthetic lasers to provide the most effective approach to treating melasma.