by Laurel Glenn, Medical Aesthetician
During my aesthetics practice in Colorado, melasma is one the most common and frustrating skin care concerns I come across. Although no one really knows exactly what causes melasma, there are many factors that can trigger it with sun exposer being at the forefront. Pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone therapy and genetic predisposition are also contributing triggers making melasma more prominent in women than men and has also been coined “the pregnancy mask”.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is characterized by patches of darkening skin color normally on cheeks, forehead, bridge of nose and above the upper lip. Many of the dark patches are symmetrical which can be a tell-tell sign. For many people these patches of hyperpigmentation can be embarrassing and unsightly. Unfortunately, since melasma is thought to be hormonal, it will never disappear, however, it can be controlled to the point it’s virtually unnoticeable.
How Can You Prevent Melasma?
First and foremost, the most preventable and damaging factor related to melasma is exposure to sunlight. It is very important to always wear a form of sunscreen even if you don’t have signs of melasma. One of the most powerful at home tools to combat melasma is the use of hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a powerful bleaching agent to lighten the skin and can even prevent the discoloration from reoccurring. In my practice, I have seen an amazing transformations with the Obagi NuDerm system. This product is a must for anyone suffering from any form of hyper-pigmentation.
Here at Sonata Aesthetics and Weight Loss in Broomfield, Colorado, we offer several safe and effective in office treatments for melasma. A series of chemical peels, IPL’s (intense pulsed light) and fractional laser procedures used alone or in combination can produce drastic improvement in skin appearance. We will work with your specific skin type and needs to decide which treatments would work best for you!
*Results may vary from patient to patient