Making Melasma Behave
- Posted on: Aug 15 2019
Each year, approximately 200,000 new melasma diagnoses are made. This dermatologic condition is characterized by painless patches of hyperpigmentation. These patches or spots may look brown or greyish. Usually, they develop on areas of skin that are exposed to the sun; the chest, cheeks, nose, and the upper lip. The cause of melasma spots is a heightened reaction to ultraviolet light as it gets absorbed by melanocyte cells. These cells activate to produce more pigment in response to UV light, resulting in small spots or patches of accumulated pigment.
Decrease the Frustration of Melasma
There is no way to cure melasma. Once hyperpigmentation occurs, it may flare up due to hormone changes or sun exposure. Therefore, the strategy that is most commonly discussed is avoiding too much time in the sun. To adequately manage melasma, though, most people who have this condition need a little more help. Some additional strategies that have proven successful include:
- Vitamin C. There are two ways in which vitamin C can be used. One is to take a time-released supplement each day. Another is to apply vitamin C topically via well-selected skincare products. Applied to the skin, this nutrient helps cell turnover and skin brightness. Taken as a supplement, vitamin C supports that sustained production of collagen, the protein that heals, firms, and renews the skin.
- Prescribed medication. For melasma, specific ingredients can be prescribed to lighten existing spots and discolored patches. Your doctor may prescribe topical doses of hydroquinone. Ingredients like this or kojic acid may also be found in lesser concentrations in professional skincare products.
- Laser treatments. Lasers emit pulses of specific wavelengths of light to achieve particular effects. Melasma treatment targets the melanin that has accumulated in localized areas. As light is absorbed by pigment, it breaks discoloration down. The body then “flushes” pigment naturally.
We proudly serve patients throughout Chicago with medical dermatology and cosmetic laser treatments. To learn more about melasma and how to make your skin behave in light of melasma flare-ups, schedule a consultation in our friendly office. Call 773.345.8000 for assistance.