Have you ever noticed dark spots or patches of skin on your face or arms? This discoloration could be melasma. Melasma can be due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or from sun exposure. These malfunctioning cells become overactive and produce too much color.
The condition is mainly seen in women, although men can also have it. The discoloration patches appear mostly on the face – the forehead, cheeks, chin, or the area near the nose. Sometimes patches are seen on the arms and neck. Although the spots are unsightly, there are several melasma treatments available.
Melasma is often triggered by:
- Changing hormone levels (during pregnancy, while on birth control pills, or when receiving hormone treatments)
- Sun exposure
- Skincare products that irritate the skin
There also may be a genetic component. People who have relatives with the condition are more likely to develop it themselves.
Treatment is not always required. The skin can return to normal once hormone levels stabilize (after pregnancy or birth control pills are stopped). If the skin patches do not disappear, pursue a treatment. Some of the effective treatments are listed below.
Topical Melasma Treatments
Several topical treatments can be used to lighten the skin. Prescription-strength products are most effective and are available at BodyLase. Using some of these creams, in combination, give the best results. Finding the right combination of creams for your skin may take some experimentation. Here are commonly used creams.
Medical Spa Treatments
If creams and topical treatments do not work, consider medical treatment. The medical treatments include:
- Chemical Peel
- Laser Resurfacing
- IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
The above treatments by different means remove the top layers of skin and the discoloration with it. Softer, newer skin is revealed. Every client should have a consultation to select the best treatment for their skin type. Choosing the wrong treatment may cause additional skin irritation.
To prevent a recurrence of melasma:
- Limit sun exposure
- Wear a hat when outside
- Use a sunscreen (especially on the face)
If those dark spots are bothering you, it may be time to seek out a melasma treatment that is right for you. You can have that clear, smooth, youthful skin once again. For more information on melasma medical treatments, contact BodyLase at 919-954-2288 (Raleigh) or 919-851-8989 (Cary).