Some skin conditions feel like an uphill battle that will require ongoing management. Melasma is one of them. Many people feel as if every step toward progress is met by an equal or greater setback. The slightest trigger may recreate the problem all over again. We understand how frustrating it can be to manage a chronic condition like melasma. Our staff works hard to develop individual treatment plans for each patient to reach the most effective follow-up program for clearer, healthier skin.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a skin condition in which dark brown or gray spots appear on the face. Studies indicate that women are more susceptible to melasma and that the problem may be triggered by hormonal changes during pregnancy. Sun exposure is a contributing factor to melasma flare-ups. Often, pigment changes are seen on the cheeks, jawline, or above the lips.
Treating and Preventing Melasma Flare-ups
It is not impossible to live confidently when you have melasma. Healthy, clear skin can be supported with:
- Vitamin C. This free-radical-fighting antioxidant provides meaningful support to the skin in a number of ways. In addition to encouraging collagen proliferation when taken orally (time-released is best), vitamin C stimulates optimal cellular turnover.
- Laser treatments. There are several laser treatments available in our Renton and Seattle offices. Specific techniques, such as Fraxel and Clear + Brilliant lasers, are indicated for people with melasma. These treatments are gentle in their delivery of light, which keeps side effects and risks to a minimum. By targeting pigment in the skin as well as cellular turnover, laser treatments achieve improvements that include uniformity in pigment and texture.
- Lightening agents. Medical-grade skin care products containing kojic acid or hydroquinone are ideal for melasma management, as each gently lifts discoloration from the skin.
- Sun protection. SPF is a must for any person with melasma, seeing that sun exposure is a prominent trigger for flare-ups of unwanted spots. In addition to decreasing the chances of future melasma, the daily use of sunscreen also provides protection from premature aging and skin cancer.
- Camouflage with Protection. Understandably, there is a desire to disguise melasma when discoloration is noticeable. The use of a mineral, powder foundation with SPF fills a dual-purpose of covering discoloration and also protecting the skin from unnecessary UV exposure.
Do you need help managing melasma? Contact us at 206-859-5777, where we can schedule a consultation for you in one of our friendly offices.