What is melasma?
Melasma is unwanted pigmentation on the skin that develops as a result of pregnancy, birth control pills in conjunction with sun exposure and most commonly seen in women. Many women develop this condition due the hormonal changes of pregnancy; therefore, it is sometimes referred to as the mask of pregnancy. The ideal approach to this condition is a combination of therapies, sun protection and topical bleaching agents.
Who gets melasma?
Melasma appears on women’s skin much more often than men’s skin. Just 10% of people who get melasma are men.
People with darker skin, such as those of Latin/Hispanic, North African, African American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern or Mediterranean descent are more likely to get melasma. People who have a blood relative who had melasma also are much more likely to get melasma.
What causes melasma?
What causes melasma is not yet clear. It likely occurs when the colour-making cells in the skin (melanocytes) produce too much colour. People with skin of colour are more prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes than people with light skin.
Common melasma triggers include:
- Sun exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes. In fact, just a small amount of sun exposure can make melasma return after fading. Sun exposure is why melasma often is worse in summer. It also is the main reason why many people with melasma get it again and again.
- A change in hormones: Pregnant women often get melasma. When melasma appears in pregnant women, it is called chloasma, or the mask of pregnancy. Birth control pills and hormone replacement medicine also can trigger melasma.
- Skin care products: If a product irritates your skin, melasma can worsen.
How can we treat melasma?
At SkinGlow Clinic we often combine our latest technology with topical cosmeceuticals to help improve the condition. With melasma, a cure is not possible, so we strive to achieve as much sustained lightening as possible with our combination regimen:
– Personalised homecare routine
- Microdermabrasion and hydradermabrasion will produce a gentle exfoliation, prevent irritation and reveal a smoother, more even complexion.
- LED therapy
- Bespoke facials and chemical peels. We offer a bespoke combination of medical grade facials containing anti-inflammatory cosmeceuticals and brightening chemical peels suitable for all skin types, that will reduce patchy texture and troublesome pigmentation.
- Microneedling with/without mesotherapy. Microneedling devices are medically engineered skin needling pens that use surgical grade micro-needles that vertically pierce the skin and create multiple micro-injuries. This will encourage and harness your own body’s innate ability to repair itself naturally and produce new collagen. This technology will create micro-channels and create a gateway for active mesotherapy ingredients to be delivered to the deeper layers of the skin as this technology significantly increases the absorption of topical products.
- Mesotherapy is a non-surgical treatment capable of improving the majority of cosmetic issues by providing small quantities of active ingredients like vitamins, minerals, hyaluronic acid and brightening substances directly to the area where they are needed. In conventional mesotherapy these ingredients are administered via microinjections into the dermic layer of the skin where they act as slow release medication. The method will improve the appearance of wrinkles and tone and texture of the skin will become more youthful. The vitamins stimulate skin cells, especially fibroblasts to increase production of collagen and elastin, as well as to neutralise free radicals. Mesotherapy is able to improve circulation as well.