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Can Melasma Be Treated?

Can Melasma Be Treated?

  1. What Does Melasma Look Like?
  2. Why Does Melasma Occur?
  3. Who Can Get Melasma?
  4. Can My Melasma Get Worse?
  5. Will My Melasma Ever Go Away?
  6. Can I Treat My Melasma?

And Other FAQs About Melasma We Get Asked Every Day

Are you wondering if you have melasma or hyperpigmentation? This is the key thing to establish when deciding on treatment. Although both melasma and hyperpigmentation appear as dark, pigmented patches on the face they have different causes and different treatment approaches.

 

What Melasma Looks Like

A skin consultation is going to confirm if what you’re experiencing is melasma but you may already have a good idea because it has quite a distinctive pattern. Melasma can often look like a butterfly, going from the forehead, down the nose, upper lip and chin, spreading across the cheeks. Melasma may not appear in all these areas for you, but this gives you the distinct areas it often occurs. 

Hyperpigmentation on the other hand doesn’t have a set outline, it can appear on any part of the skin as general uneven pigmentation, sunspots, and freckles. 

In both cases sun exposure will make the appearance worse, however, melasma is not caused by the sun but in most cases other forms of hyperpigmentation are. 

Can Melasma Be Treated?

 

Why Melasma Occurs 

In short, melasma is due to hormones. You may have heard it being called the ‘mask of pregnancy’ because it often appears during this time, in fact up to 50% of women may be affected during pregnancy*, however, there are other contributing factors and men can also suffer from this skin condition. 

The exact cause of melasma isn’t known but there are several factors that are known to help it develop. These include hormonal birth control, hormone replacement drugs, pregnancy, medical issues that impact your hormones such as thyroid issues and some medications, such as those taken by epileptics. 

 

Who Gets Melasma?

As I touched upon earlier, it is more common in females but men may also be affected. It is more common in those of us who tan quickly and in people of colour but all skin types may get melasma.

It is not a hereditary condition, but like other skin conditions, it has been found to be more common in those who have a family history of melasma. 

 

Can Melasma Get Worse?

Yes, it can. Most people who have melasma will notice that it becomes more obvious when they’ve had sun exposure.

One of the key things in managing melasma is sun avoidance. This means wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen which has a minimum of 30 SPF (apply enough and reapply throughout the day); wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you go outside; sun beds are an absolute no-no, and remembering that the sun’s UV rays are around us every day of the year.

One thing that I do to ensure I wear SPF every day is to use sun cream as my moisturiser-in fact, it’s the best anti-ageing cream you can get! This is because a moisturiser is simply a cream that stops moisture from leaving the skin, and sun cream will do the same thing but has the added benefit of sun protection in it. 

 

Will Melasma Ever Go Away?

Currently, there is no cure for melasma. Although the condition is often upsetting for sufferers it’s reassuring to know that it is not life-threatening and is not contagious.

As mentioned above, strict sun avoidance may allow your melasma to fade to a point that you’re not bothered by it. Other known triggers, such as hormonal birth control, should be avoided if possible.

If your melasma is associated with pregnancy, you may notice an improvement in it a few months after birth as your hormones settle; be prepared that it may reoccur with subsequent pregnancies. Whilst we’re on the subject of pregnancy, treating melasma when pregnant should be avoided. 

There are effective treatments available to help you reduce the appearance of melasma and manage it. I’ll go into these now…

 

Melasma Treatment- Can Melasma Be Treated?

I’m sure you’ve looked up ‘melasma treatment near me’ and ‘which laser for melasma’ by now and been given a plethora of advice from various sources, from chemical peels to laser treatment to Obagi NuDerm.

At our skin clinic, we have an extensive range of aesthetic treatments (did I not mention, that we won Leading Non-Surgical Skin Treatment Provider, 2022 – Hertfordshire ;-D ). We also have extensive experience treating a variety of skin types for melasma and our go-to skin treatment is Obagi NuDerm.

Obagi NuDerm is our choice of treatment because, well, it works. It also allows us to avoid using laser on your melasma because there is a risk that melasma laser treatment can make the pigmentation worse. We have the lasers that can treat melasma and have decades of experience in using lasers, but the risk is not worth it for us; especially when we have a melasma kit that offers correction and a maintenance regime. 

If appropriate, depending on reviews of your skin during your use of Obagi NuDerm, we may suggest gentle chemical peels, such as a mandelic skin peel, if your nurse feels that skin inflammation needs addressing.

obagi nu-derm  Chemical Peels

Nurse Natalia, who leads our melasma clinics, says: “As someone who has melasma myself, I understand the positive impact being able to manage melasma with skin treatment and sun safety methods have on your wellbeing. This is also something I see in my melasma clients. There’s nothing better than empowering people to feel confident, look their best and give them back some control over their skin.”

Should you like to have a skin consultation about your melasma, please contact us.

*Stat from the British Skin Foundation

Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.

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