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.
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.
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.
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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Fabulous place. From the moment you step through the door you are warmly welcomed. Natalia is very knowledgable and friendly. She really listened to my concerns sensitively and gave me all the options available without pushing me to make a decision. I was given all the time I needed to make my choice and when I went back for my treatment it was such a relaxing experience. I went away knowing exactly what I needed to do as after care and I highly recommend Skin to Love
Had my first session of Sculptlift, with Jane. I had so many questions and Jane explained in simple terms enabling me to understand what to expect. The procedure was painless and Jane talked me through every step. I was left without bruising which was suprising as I usually bruise quite badly. I am looking forward to seeing the final results.
I cannot recommend this establishment enough. The receptionist was lovely and greeted me with a bright smile. Emma was friendly, kind and put me right at ease. After seeing how much my issue bothered me, she offered me an appointment the same day during her break to sort out my problem. I’m so happy and relieved that my issue is 95% sorted. Thank you so much Skin to Love! You’ve certainly got a customer for life now! I’ll be telling all my friends about this little gem.
I have seen Jane a few times for my skin tag removal and it’s been an absolute amazing service!! She’s been super calming and helped me every step and if I had any tension it was gone in a minute or so, she get rid of all the issues super quick and pain free and has been super helpful with the healing process afterwards too. This clinic is quite far from me but I am willing to travel for such a good service. Would recommend to everyone you’ll be really happy
Knowledgeable, friendly, helpful staff who counsel the right non intrusive option to suit your body shape and need. Results are seen within weeks too. Thank you Jane and team! Best decision I have ever made.
I’ve had the HydraFacia treatment with anti-aging booster recently and I couldn't be more pleased with the results! My skin feels incredibly clean, hydrated, and has a radiant glow. Nikki was fantastic—she meticulously explained each step of the treatment, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience. The thoughtful touch of a follow-up call post-treatment added a personalised touch that I truly appreciated. Thank you, and I'm definitely looking forward to more sessions!
A friendly, warm and informative reception met me when I arrived.Emma was excellent and explained exactly what she was going to do.Emma talked through the forms and I felt confident with her knowledge and ability to treat me in a clean and hygienic medical room.I can highly recommend Emma and the Skin to live clinic in St Albans.
I met Emma who did my treatment. She provided great customer service in explaining the process which has gone so well. All staff are warm and welcoming, making me feel comfortable throughout the process. I highly recommend anyone. Thank you Emma
This was my first Hydrafacial and it was great!! The process was really interesting, lots of different steps and my skin is now glowing! I will definitely be back for another soon. Thank you so much for everything!
I've always been made to feel very welcome when visiting the Skin to Love Clinic. The follow-up sessions are a great opportunity to monitor progress and chat about any changes. Jane is very thorough and knowledgeable and her skin product recommendations have worked a treat. All the staff are really really lovely, I cannot fault a thing. Thank you!❤️
I had 3 moles removed (one on my face, and two on my body) by Emma. She did a wonderful job and they are healing up beautifully. She is clearly incredibly knowledgeable and I was well informed about the process. Not only that but she put my mind at ease fantastically as I was feeling quite nervous. We were able to laugh and chat throughout the appointment and I actually left in a better mood than when I went in! That is definitely Kudos to Emma (and the lovely staff at the front desk who always made me feel so welcome). Thank you so much.
I was a bit anxious about my skin condition at first however , it was by far the best experience I’ve had in a clinic so far. I was reassured and made feel comfortable. The expertise of Jane is outstanding, she went above and beyond and I would recommend her to anyone who is looking for professionalism, warmth and effective treatment. Thank you!
I've been visiting the Skin To Love Clinic for around 6 years and cannot fault the staff and the service. I am made to feel special at every appointment and over the years Jane has offered me fantastic advice about my skin and general wellbeing. Jane has a wealth of experience and I wouldn't trust my face to anyone else! The result is always fresh and natural looking and I always leave the clinic with renewed confidence. Thank you!
I just want to send a little note about the brilliant skin to love clinic in St Albans. I would definitely recommend it to anyone seeking the many many treatments they do for face and whole body.I am very lucky to have the fantastic Nikki as my therapist who is so many things to many to mention and a brilliant superb therapist. She is so good at her job and devoted to her work procedures and patients and very very patient and empathetic and understanding and helpful as I am going through greiving of losing my der mum.a few months ago.I absolutely lovgo8ng to the clinic for my reagents. They are the best. And would definitely recommend to anyone considering any treatments.Thank youKay Harrison