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melasma

Melasma

What is Melasma?

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.

What does Melasma look like?

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 is sometimes found in an irregular pattern on the forehead. Sufferers can have one or all of these characteristics. In our Clinic, we use a special camera that will highlight these characteristics and will confirm whether the pigmentation is Melasma or just sun damage.

What Are The Causes of Melasma?

The cause of melasma is believed to be hormone-related and mainly affects females, it can occur during puberty, pregnancy, menopause and lots of other times when hormone changes occur in the body. These instances can be hormone medication, IVF treatments and birth control pills. Abnormal production of the pigment is created in the dermis (the inner layer of skin) and the Epidermis (the outer layer of skin) causing irregular patches of pigmentation.

epidermis and melasma

The other name for melasma is Cholasma or commonly known as the mask of pregnancy. 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.

obagi nu-derm

melasma affected skin

Melasma Treatment

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 can take up to 26 weeks, and positive changes can be seen at 6+ weeks in the majority of cases. The regime continues after the initial treatment in a modified form to maintain the outcome achieved; this includes a sunscreen that must be used and repeatedly applied throughout the day.

If you would like to discuss Melasma Treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team who will happily arrange a consultation for you. You start your journey with a consultation and test patch. During your consultation, we will suggest a treatment plan to help you achieve your goal and, following your test patch, you can start treatment as soon as 24 hours later.

book a skin consultation

melasma treatment

How Can Melasma Be Treated?

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. One of the best treatments on the market today is Obagi nu-derm.

Obagi Nu-Derm is a complete skin care system specially formulated to help correct hyperpigmentation, such as sunspots, pigmentation treatment 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.

Can Obagi Nu-Derm Treat Melasma After Having Children?

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 discoloured 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.

Is Melasma A Skin Cancer?

No, Melasma is not contagious and is not a form of skin cancer.

How Do I Know I am Developing Melasma?

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.

What Can Trigger Melasma?

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 pills, hormone replacement drugs, pregnancy, medical issues that impact your hormones such as thyroid issues and some medications, such as those taken by epileptics.

Can Sun Exposure Cause 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 in the skin are responsible for producing colour in the skin and are stimulated by UV rays from the sun.

We advise using these sun safety tips protect your skin, using 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.

Sun protection is vital, so 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 from not investing in sun protection.

Can Skin Lightening Creams Help Treat Melasma?

Melasma is a very stubborn form of hyperpigmentation or discoloured patches of skin, these dark patches are arguably the world’s most annoying skin issue. Not only is melasma triggered by a bunch of different things but once you get it, it doesn’t just magically go away on its own, even if you throw a bunch of brightening ingredients or skin-lightening creams at it.

Melasma is also temperamental, so if you use too-harsh products or the wrong treatments to try and fade it, you can actually end up making your melasma worse. Melasma happens when melanocytes—the cells that produce melanin in your skin—become overactive and produce an excessive amount of pigment-producing cells.

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If you're not sure what treatment you need or you just need more information, we're here to help. Send us an email or call us on 01727 837429.

What people have said...

Always a delight to visit. Natalia was fantastic as usual. I would highly recommend based on her very professional and welcoming approach. The company as a whole goes above and beyond to make you feel comfortable and well looked after.
Ross McBrearty
Ross McBrearty
1713289225
10/10 - outstanding advice and treatment from Jane at Skin to Love. I had a burst capillary on my nose which I was covering for 2 years. With one consultation and one course of treatment Jane removed it. I should have consulted her sooner. Jane is now my ‘go to’ skin adviser. Quality service and exceptional value for money. Thank you
DJ Mitson
DJ Mitson
1712926578
Emma was such an amazing and professional nurse. She immediately put me at ease and was very skilled and knowledgeable. Highly recommend
Tracy O'Brien
Tracy O'Brien
1711983957
Fabulous as always. Jane and the team are welcoming, professional and always put you at ease. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Treatments are delivered with the utmost care. Honest advice always given. Absolutely recommend.
Karen Murphy
Karen Murphy
1711566891
Great experience every time :) Nikki is always so nice and informative and the vibe at the clinic is so lovely 💕
Angelis B
Angelis B
1711124504
Professional, caring and informative. I always feel in good hands here.
Natalie Liley
Natalie Liley
1710761204
Highly recommend the Skin to Love clinic , such a lovely relaxing atmosphere and so professional. I am very pleased with my treatment with Stuart and Jane both of whom took plenty of time to discuss my requirements, desired outcomes and exactly what to expect, including step by step explanation during treatment. Can’t wait to see the results emerging and beyond
Dr Emma was so patient and gentle during my procedure. She is very good at what she does and is so kind! The treatment was one big step to making me feel more confident with my appearance and it is reassuring that she will answer any and all questions I have.
Lara Farmer
Lara Farmer
1710189781
very good experience
Julian robert
Julian robert
1709812593
Just been for my annual mole check! Emma is wonderful. Uber professional. Sensitive and never any pressure.
Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
1709551782
1st Consultation - Very relaxed, friendly and informative.
Diane Court
Diane Court
1709137998
Nicky and Natalia were excellent. Very knowledgable and professional!
Rob Scott
Rob Scott
1709129395
Great experience, Natalia was very thorough with talking me through the process and what to expect. She made me feel at ease. Clean and bright rooms as well.
Hannah-mai Perl
Hannah-mai Perl
1709045595
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
Terri
Terri
1708355087
Jane was so lovely today. Really made me feel comfortable and reassured. She was very kind and answered all my questions; I’m really happy with how my appointment went. Thank you!
Leah Meek
Leah Meek
1708024711
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.
sam B
sam B
1707687376
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.
Gabbs Stevens
Gabbs Stevens
1707138555
Superb treatment
B white
B white
1707054898
Stuart listened to what I wanted, but also engaged and informed me of alternative options for future consideration.A winning combination I’d say!
Tracey P
Tracey P
1706534481
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
Katia Cykunova
Katia Cykunova
1705780763
Felt really comfortable with Emma, she kept me informed every step and I would highly recommend her.All the staff is so lovely and chatty and the clinic is beautiful
Mackenzie Rigby
Mackenzie Rigby
1705488805
Fantastic service and great care from Emma. Very lovely and approachable, made me feel at ease.Thank you
Adel Rozsa
Adel Rozsa
1705329174
Extremely pleased with results and impeccable service in beautiful surroundings .Thank you .
Lee Moran
Lee Moran
1703954108
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.
S BG
S BG
1703773464
As soon as you walk in you feel well taken care of and put at ease.Personable, knowledgeable and professional.Thank you
Avril Larner
Avril Larner
1703180365
My hydro facial with Nicki was amazing. So relaxing and my skin looked hydrated and glowing after. A number of people commented. I will definitely be back.
Emma Woodman
Emma Woodman
1702391741
They know what they're doing, everything is professionally efficient and carried out with the utmost care. You know you're in good hands!
Louise Wynne
Louise Wynne
1701695164
Nikki was amazing - highly recommend!
Joseph Curran
Joseph Curran
1700931549
Every single time I come here, i am treated like a VIP and given excellent treatment and advice. Exceeds expectations.
Very pleased with the results. Natalia did an excellent job.
Christine Calow
Christine Calow
1700582893
Excellent treatments and highly professional staff!
Maria Ufland
Maria Ufland
1700494431
Very efficient and thoroughly recommend Jane Lewis and her team thank you very much for a speedy hassle free experience
Bazclark1
Bazclark1
1700069558
Nikki was superb, explained the process at each stage, answered any questions and made the whole experience a delight.
Sunny Grewal
Sunny Grewal
1700040365
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!
Thank you Emma. You made me feel comfortable and calmed my nerves. The procedure was smooth and quick and Emma kept me distracted the whole time. Would definitely recommend.
Hannah King
Hannah King
1699102554
Friendly and very professional. Every treatment I’ve had has been excellent. I highly recommend Skin to Love clinic.
Fiona Mitchell
Fiona Mitchell
1698948934
Really happy with my service. Nikki explained the procedure clearly, involved me in decision making & im happy with the outcome. Thank you!!
Abbie Sullivan
Abbie Sullivan
1698939545
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.
Jane Sandhu
Jane Sandhu
1698739731
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
Samuel Sekyere
Samuel Sekyere
1698700074
I am a repeat customer and wouldn’t go anywhere else. The clinic is supportive, calming and highly professional. Staff are amazing, especially Natalia. Highly recommended. Thank you STLC.
Carly Sharp
Carly Sharp
1698668105
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