What is Melasma? After or by the end of summer it is very common for melasma to be more prominent and it takes a long time to start fading (if it ever fades at all).
Melasma is a very common patchy brown, tan, or blue-grey discoloration (depending on skin tone) medically characterized as hyper pigmentation. Mostly seen on the skin of females, because of hormone changes such as pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause etc… Melasma is very common in Latin, Native American, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and genetically dark complexions, especially if you are a sun lover or tend to be exposed to the sun on a regular basis. Or long periods of time.
Melasma is primarily on the face (but that does not exclude the body).
There are 3 common facial patterns, which are;
1-centrofacial (center of the face) forehead, cheeks, upper lip, nose and chin.
How do I know if I have Melasma?
If there is brownish patches that make your skin look uneven or dirty in certain areas, and make up is getting harder and harder to cover these areas; then you probably have melasma.
If you are still not sure then your Physician can diagnose melasma. You can also go to a Medical Aesthetician, who specializes in skin esthetically to repair unwanted damage on the skin and body. First we have to know how deep the damage is as to recommend which service can or should be done. This can be seen by a woods lamp, light, or black light where we can see if your melasma is due to pigment in the dermis, epidermis, or both.
What are the treatments for Melasma?
There are several different treatments that can be done for melasma; it really depends on the skins color and how deep the pigment is. The most common is a Broad Band light laser; this is done only if you have fair to medium complexions.
There are also; chemicals, prescription bleaching creams, retina and various other chemical compounds
Melasma may fade some after summer is over, but with age it will seem to get worse and fade less
How do I keep my Melasma from getting worse?
The best advice is to make sure those areas are protected by the sun (and not just sun block, a hat with 5” brim is recommended to protect the areas because just the heat stimulating the skin can also bring the melanites to the surface.
How do I get rid of it?
You do not want to get rid of all the color in your skin or there would be white areas left behind that would be just as hard to cover and noticeable than the brown (this is known as hypo-pigmentation), so you just want to get rid of the surface damaged melasma so that no one can tell you have it
See a skin specialist on a normal basis to shed damaged cells and help protect your skin cells from future sun damage of melasma: also Everyday sun block, and monthly treatments will keep the Melasma exfoliated and protect the melaniates (you have too target the melanin and also protect the surrounding areas from damaging so easily.
Georgia Medical Board Laser Practitioner