WHAT IS MELASMA?
Characterised by patches of brownish pigmentation over the face, Melasma is an acquired hyperpigmentation disorder, typically suffered by darker skinned woman aged 30-50.
CAUSES OF MELASMA
Some underlying causes include chronic UV exposure, hormonal fluctuations (pregnancy/menopause), genetics and aging. This chronic disease improves with treatment, but recurs frequently, making treatment challenging.
HOW SHOULD WE TREAT MELASMA?
Typically, treatment involves the following: Avoiding UV exposure, topical medication, oral medication and laser treatments.
Avoiding UV Exposure
To start off, we recommend avoiding UV exposure. This is because UV exposure triggers melanocytes to produce more melanin, worsening the condition. Lifestyle changes need to be taken, such as avoiding sun exposure, wearing protective clothing (wide brimmed hat or face visor, long sleeves) and using sunblock with at least an SPF50 rating.
We then move on to topical medications, which include depigmenting creams that inhibit melanin production. Hydroquinone might give the best results, but it is not suitable for use of any period over 6 months, or during pregnancy. Non-hydroquinone alternatives like Kojic acid, Azelaic acid, Vitamin C, Arbutin, Niacinamide, Tranexamic acid, retinol, glycolic acid or salicylic acid are less effective but safer. A common treatment strategy would be to start off with hydroquinones to achieve rapid results, then maintain these results using non-hydroquinone alternatives in the long term.
We can also use oral medications which have tranexamic acid. This medication reduces melanin production and shrinks the blood vessels that contribute to Melasma. We can also use Heliocare Pure White (Polypodium Leucotomos extract), an oral sunblock which provides antioxidants to counteract UV damage.
Finally, we use laser treatment featuring a picosecond laser which can target melanin pigments, breaking them up into smaller fragments which are removed by scavenger cells in the skin. This results in a fairer and more even skin tone.
HOW LONG TO SEE RESULTS
It usually takes about 3-6 months to see results After that, we will need to work with you to maintain the skin’s improved condition and to prevent recurrence.
Remember: Melasma treatment is a marathon, not a sprint!
Our doctors and staff at S aesthetics at extremely well versed in treating melasma, (and other pigmentations). Come for a consult today!
If you wish to find out more, visit us at S Aesthetics Clinic to speak to our doctor.