Okay, Melasma, commonly known as the “pregnancy mask” is a regular occurance. You are not alone - and you know what? There is a treatment to correct it!
Melasma presents itself as a dark facial skin rash with irregular borders. The rash is usually recognized by its symmetrical presentation on the cheeks, lips, nose or forehead. Skin discoloration can also occur on the upper arms. The skin discoloration can vary in color ranging from a dark brown to a deep grey.
The condition is universal and seen in all cultures and ethnicities; however it is far more commonly seen in Asians, Hispanics, Arabs and North Africans who all seem to have higher levels of melanin in their skin and a tendency to tan. Individuals with fair skin may experience a lighter shade of melasma which is not always recognized.
The cause of melasma remains unknown but is believed to be due to an increase in the production of cells which release the pigment melanin, which is responsible for the dark color of the skin.
What causes the increased production of melanin is not known but some triggers include:
- Heredity factors and hormone fluctuation/production: the rash is most common in pregnant females
- Prolonged sun exposure
- Use of birth control pills
- Certain medications like tetracycline and anti-malarial drugs (derived from quinine)
Melasma is not related to any medical disorder and by itself is a harmless skin condition despite the cosmetic concern associated with its appearance on facial skin. Diagnosing melasma in pregnant women is relatively simple, yet in men and women who are not pregnant, drug related skin reactions and other medical conditions may have to be ruled out.
What is the treatment for melasma? Sun protection is the most important part of treatment for melasma, since the pigment will continue to darken with sun exposure. Sunscreens must be worn daily. Combinations of bleaching and fading creams together with laser treatments for pigmentation, such as Fraxel® laser treatments, can be used to fade the pigment.
Why is Fraxel® Laser Treatment more advantageous over other laser treatments for pigmentation?
- It improves all types of melasma pigmentation.
- It can be used on all skin types, including darker complexions, and multiple treatments are required.
- Lightening of the pigment can be seen within a few weeks.
- It improves the texture and radiance of the skin.
- It improves sun damage, brown spots, and wrinkles which usually occur with melasma.
So, to schedule your confidential consultation call 604-543-8965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to enjoy clearer brighter skin!