What is Melasma?
This deeper brown or dark pigment is also known as a pregnancy mask. Melasma often appears around pregnancy or with many hormonal changes (increased levels of progesterone) and use of birth control pills or during menopause and can also be hereditary. It can appear anywhere on the body and is worsened by exposure to the sun, but it is mostly found on the face of women 20-50 years of age than on men. Melasma is extremely difficult to treat, especially on darker skin types and can usually be lightened but not cleared.
What can be done?
- Sun avoidance, including broad spectrum sunblocks, hats and sunglasses are your best line of defense.
- Skin Lightening products: SkinCeuticals – Advanced Pigment Corrector, SkinMedica Lytera
- ZO Multi-Therapy Hydroquinone System
- The risk with treating melasma with energy devices and lasers is that it can worsen with inflammation. Therefore, careful assessment and lower settings are necessary. More treatments may be required to achieve the same results.
- See Dr. Frame for prescribing a specially compounded cream.
- IPL Photofacial would be required in multiple treatments at low settings. This is to avoid post inflammatory pigment alteration (PIPA).
- Fraxel Dual 1927 Thulium laser also requires multiple treatments at low settings, especially in darker or ethnic skin (Asian or Hispanic).
- The Venus Viva for skin resurfacing.
Best sunblocks to use:
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50