Melasma is a skin condition, common in adults. It is a patch of pigmentation (usually on the face) that is brown in colour. It is more common in women and, even more so, in pregnant women. Melasma is more frequently seen during the summer when the skin has been exposed to the sun and is likely to tan, and it tends to fade during the colder months. Melasma is not contagious and is not cancerous.
Unlike normal pigmentation caused by the sun or sunbeds, Melasma is typically seen on the face.
It is characterised by a similar butterfly pattern on the cheeks, a darker upper lip that looks like facial hair from a distance and sometimes an irregular pattern on the forehead.
Sufferers can have one or all of these characteristics. In the Clinic, we use a special camera that will highlight these characteristics and will confirm whether the pigmentation is Melasma and not just sun damage.
The cause of melasma is believed to be hormone-related and mainly affect females, it can occur at puberty, pregnancy, menopause and lots of other times hormones changes occur in the body these can be hormone medication, IVF treatments and the birth control pill.
Abnormal production of the pigment is created in the dermis( inner layer of skin) and the Epidermis (outer layer of skin) causing irregular patches of pigmentation. The other name for melasma is Cholasma or commonly known as the mask of pregnancy.
This is a difficult condition to treat as – unlike a suntan which will affect the upper layers of the skin and will fade with time – Melasma can affect the epidermis (top layer of the skin) as well as the dermis (deeper layer of the skin).”
There is also an inflammatory aspect to this skin condition which causes redness. This redness can, in turn, make the pigmentation look darker.
Over the years, lasers, peels and topical prescription products have been used to treat melasma. These treatments require compliance, and in some cases, they either don’t work or have made the condition worse.
With this experience in mind and an understanding of how resistant the condition is to treatment, we have, we have found that the best treatment to help with the appearance of Melasma is the Obagi Nu-Derm.
This prescription-only skin treatment regime has been formulated to synergistically work on all the layers of the skin that are affected. It calms the overproduction of pigment and corrects and transforms the skin.
The treatment takes 26 weeks, and positive changes can be seen at 6+ weeks in the majority of cases. The regime continues after the 26 weeks in a modified form to maintain the outcome achieved; this includes a sunscreen that must be used and repeatedly applied throughout the day.
When treating the skin with the Nu-Derm® System, it is vital to protect your skin from UV rays. UV from the sun is damaging to the skin, accelerates the ageing process and stimulates melanocyte activity which can increase pigmentation; the very things you are trying to improve with this treatment system.
We advise using the SPF 50 which comes with the kit, with regular application throughout the day and suggest using a hat to further reduce the risk of damage. Although patients do not need to totally avoid sun exposure, the skin is more sensitive during treatment and requires more protection than usual.
It is vital to continue using a high-factor daily SPF following the completion of your Obagi course to help to maintain your results; new hyperpigmentation may be stimulated post-treatment if the skin is exposed to UV rays.
Due to the use of topical hydroquinone in some steps of the Nu-Derm® System, we advise that if you are pregnant, considering pregnancy or breastfeeding discuss the possible effects of treatment with the dermatologist in advance; the usual protocol for these cases is avoidance of the treatment until a more appropriate time.
Obagi Nu-Derm is a complete skincare system specially formulated to help correct hyperpigmentation, such as sunspots and melasma, as well as improve the appearance of ageing skin.
At The Skin to Love Clinic you will be under the care of one of our aesthetic practitioners for this treatment. This treatment helps with hyperpigmentation caused by birth control pills. This treatment works by blocking the process in the skin that leads to discolouration.
There are two types of Nu-Derm® Systems; one for normal to oily skin and one for normal to dry skin. The most appropriate system for you will also be discussed with your dermatologist.
Yes. This is the only way we treat melasma at The Skin to Love Clinic. Dermal melasma will materialise in dark patches of skin or skin irritation. These discolored patches of fair skin are a form of epidermal melasma. Melasma appears as one of the more common skin disorders in pregnant women. Facial melasma diagnosed, even on the upper lip, by a registered dermatologist is easily treatable.
The Symptoms of melasma include discolouration. Melasma causes patches of discolouration. The patches are darker than your usual skin colour. It typically occurs on the face and is symmetrical, with matching marks on both sides of the face. Other areas of your body that are often exposed to the sun can also develop melasma.
Melasma is a darkening effect of the facial skin, resulting in brown patches most commonly found on the forehead, cheeks, nose and lip. Sun exposure can trigger melasma because the pigment cells that contain kojic acid and azelaic acid are in the skin are responsible for producing colour in the skin and are stimulated by UV rays from the sun.
Kojic acids primary use is to lighten visible sun damage, age spots, or scars. This can result in an anti-ageing effect on the skin. In addition to skin-lightening effects, kojic acid also contains some antimicrobial properties. … This can help treat acne caused by bacteria in the skin.
Light chemical peels improve skin texture and tone and lessen the appearance of fine wrinkles. The results are subtle but increase with repeated treatments. If you have a medium chemical peel, treated skin will be noticeably smoother.
Melasma can be categorized as “epidermal” or “dermal”, or mixed. Epidermal melasma means the pigment (melanin) is in the more superficial layers of the skin called the epidermis. Dermal melasma means that the pigment is in the deeper layers of the skin. It can manifest in the form of skin irritation, mixed melasma or melasma patches. Melasma treatments like Obagi Nu-Derma offer a way to reset skin cells and your skin tone.
Prices start from £550.
We offer a bespoke approach to treatment, tailored entirely to your needs and desires, therefore the cost of your individual treatment will be confirmed during your consultation following a thorough assessment.