Melasma is a consequence of an overabundance of sun exposure
Melasma resembles painless and smooth gray-brown patches on the face, neck and upper body. Treatments for this condition include consistent sunscreen application, especially on sunny days with higher UV index. Wide brimmed hats and long sleeves are also some precautions individuals take to avoid Melasma.
Melasma is sometimes called “the pregnancy mask” because it is extremely common in pregnant women due to hormonal fluctuations that affect the Melanin levels of the skin’s cell.
Laser treatments and topical medications can be used to reverse the signs of Melasma.
What Is Melasma?
Melasma is a condition where the skin progressively changes color or pigment on its own. Typically seen on the forehead, cheeks, and/or upper lip, melasma often manifests as a flat pattern of tan, gray, brown, or dark brown spots. Melasma is painless and textureless - it usually does not “feel” like anything.
Elevated estrogen levels can potentially cause melasma, making it more commonly seen in females on birth control or pregnant women. Melasma can affect all ages, genders, and skin tones, but it is more prevalent in Asian, Hispanic, and African-American patients.
Melasma can also be triggered by exposure to sunlight. Patients will report seeing their melasma “flare up” during the summer months while it gradually fades away in winter months. Environmental factors and genetics can also be direct causes of melasma.
Prevention and Treatment of Melasma
1. Sun Protection
If your skin is melasma-prone and sensitive to the sun, generously apply dermatologist-recommended SPF daily without exception. If when driving or sitting near a window, your skin is exposed to UV rays. Wear a hat as protection and avoid tanning as well.
2. Estrogen-Free Birth Control
If you believe your melasma is caused by your birth control medication, talk to your prescriber about potentially switching to an estrogen-free birth control. This may or may not manage your pigmentation issues.
Glycolic acid, vitamin C, retinol or other topical products that regulate pigmentation may be prescribed by a board-certified dermatologist when treating melasma. Book a consultation with Feinstein Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery to explore treatment options.
Melasma may be treated by light-based therapies or lasers. Schedule a complimentary consultation to find out if you’re a good candidate for one of these in-office procedures.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is incredibly common - it is a general term used for skin discoloration, specifically when some parts of the skin are darker than others. Age spots, sun spots, melasma, and even freckles are all types of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation can be treated through a variety of methods utilized in our Delray Beach office. If you’re experiencing hyperpigmentation, schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified providers.
Cutting-edge laser technology and light therapies, as well as doctor-prescribed topicals, are used to treat forms of hyperpigmentation. As a Board-Certified Dermatologist in Delray Beach, Fl, Dr. Feinstein personally performs all laser treatments to ensure optimal results. Schedule your complimentary consultation and receive a personalized treatment plan.
Types of Hyperpigmentation
Just like certain skin types are acne or rosacea-prone, others are predisposed to hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation reportedly affects over 5 million people in the US, making it extremely common, particularly in certain skin types. The good news? Hyperpigmentation is completely harmless. It does, however, affect the skin’s overall appearance. For vanity purposes, it is not uncommon for patients with skin discoloration to pursue hyperpigmentation treatment.
Following injury or irritation, skin can become inflamed. In certain skin types, this inflammation triggers the production of more melanin, a substance that makes skin appear darker. Although post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation may not be permanent, depending on the spot, it can last weeks or months. Some of the most typical causes of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are acne, rash, eczema, or psoriasis.
We’ve all been warned of the dangers of sun damage causing premature aging and wrinkles, but did you know that the skin can cause discoloration in the skin outside of a temporary sunburn? When UV rays come into contact with the skin, melanin is produced as the skin’s natural barrier to the sun. Think of melanin as your body’s own way of producing sunscreen. Once the melanin is produced and deposited in the skin, it can appear as dark patches or sun spots that may be permanent unless removed by a laser.
How To Treat Hyperpigmentation
Retinol, azelaic acid, and vitamin C are proven to reduce less severe forms of hyperpigmentation by controlling inflammation. Our medical team will assess your level of hyperpigmentation and recommend the appropriate topical treatment protocol.
2. Chemical peels
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation responds well to chemical peels when applied by a licensed medical aesthetician. Some stronger chemical peels can further exacerbate hyperpigmentation, so it is important to be evaluated by a skincare expert.
Laser treatment is the strongest and most effective way to treat hyperpigmentation. Take a look at the laser and light-based services offered at Feinstein Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in Delray Beach, Fl.