Are you one of those women who is tired of using concealer or foundation to hide your melasma? Don’t worry, you are not alone in this dilemma. In fact, more than 50% of women in the US develop melasma during their pregnancy. The prevalence is higher for those with more melanin in their skin. Some men may also develop melasma along the way. Some may go away on its own, while others may have melasma for the rest of their lives.
Melasma is a common skin pigmentation problem that is characterized by dark, or grayish, patches on the skin. This typically appears on the areas of the body that are constantly exposed to the sun like your face, neck, shoulders, and forearms. Melasma may not harm you physically, but it can be bothersome especially if you are not used to it.
Causes of Melasma
There is still no definite cause of melasma. But the medical community believes that it has something to do with melanocytes, the cells in the skin that are responsible for producing skin pigments or colors called melanin. Overproduction of melanin may cause the appearance of melasma on the skin.
There are factors that could trigger the production of melanin. Some of these include too much exposure to the sun, hormonal changes in pregnant women, hormonal treatments or birth control pills, and skin irritation from skincare products. Individuals who have darker complexion also have higher risks of developing melasma.
Treatments for Melasma
Melasma can be diagnosed during your visit to your esthetician or dermatologist. Your dermatologist may require further examination like taking a small sample of the skin for biopsy since melasma can resemble other skin pigmentation problems.
You may not be required to get treatment for your melasma especially if it is caused by your pregnancy or any hormonal treatments. Changing your medication usually fixes this. However, if you are not pregnant and you want to get rid of your melasma, there are several treatment options available for you. One of the most popular melasma treatments today is the Laser Skin Rejuvenation using Photorejuvenation (IPL) technology.
Laser skin rejuvenation is a non-surgical treatment with the use of infrared light to treat different skin conditions and rejuvenate it. The process involves heating the collagen under the surface of the skin using the infrared light laser so that it will tighten; removing the wrinkles and loose skin, and makes your skin smoother and younger-looking.
The Photorejuvenation (IPL) technology used in the treatment will treat any skin conditions that are damaged by aging and overexposure to sun. It will remove the outermost layer of the skin which is the epidermis; therefore, removing skin pigmentation such as melasma.
Laser skin rejuvenation may last for 30 minutes up to 2 hours depending on the size of the skin pigmentation to be treated. Local anesthesia will be used during the treatment to prevent discomfort. You may initially experience a bit of itching, swelling, and redness in the treated area but it will go away over time.