Melasma, commonly known as dark spots, is a skin condition that affects many women. Surprisingly, it can start appearing on our skin as early as our 20s and 30s, even before we realize it. We’ve got you covered if you’re concerned about uneven skin tone. Today, we’ll share some of our best tips and treatment for melasma.
I hate to admit it, but it’s true that people didn’t care much about sun protection in the past. Having a tan, a sign of sun damage was considered more attractive than having healthy skin. As someone with fair skin, I’ve always felt self-conscious about it. Even as a child, I was teased, and it continued into adulthood. That’s why I’m so glad to see that people are now more aware of the importance of sun safety and the harmful effects that the sun can have on our skin.
Don’t miss our blog post, “The 10 Most Missed Sunscreen Spots.”
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What is Melasma?
Melasma is commonly referred to as dark spots or hyperpigmentation. It is also more common among women than men.
Most women start to get brown spots or sun spots on their cheeks, chin, nose, forehead, and above their upper lip. Experts state pregnancy is often a common cause of melasma.
Other known causes of melasma include ultraviolet rays, genetic influences, hormonal therapies, cosmetics, phototoxic drugs, and antiseizure drugs.
Although melasma or “dark spots” can be unpleasant, it is not associated with malignancy. There are various treatment options available.
You can read more about Melasma here.
Tips to Avoid Hyperpigmentation
- Wear sunscreen daily: Sun exposure is one of the primary triggers of melasma, so protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is important. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 daily, even on cloudy days. This will help to prevent you from getting sun-damaged skin.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses: Protecting your face and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays is important. In addition to sunscreen, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses can provide extra protection. Skin cancers often appear in areas like the face, ears, neck, scalp, shoulders, and back, so taking precautions is crucial. The skin around our eyes and on our eyelids is delicate. UVA and UVB rays from the sun can damage the skin, cornea, lens, and other parts of the eye. We have a blog post that can help you choose the perfect sun hat. You can read it here.
- Avoid direct sunlight: Avoid being in direct sunlight during peak hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use gentle skin care products: Harsh skincare products can irritate your skin and worsen melasma. Stick to gentle, non-irritating products and avoid using harsh scrubs or exfoliants to remove dead skin cells. Understanding your skin type is crucial in selecting the right skincare products that cater to your skin’s unique needs. As we age, our skin becomes more delicate, and it is vital to handle it carefully, particularly around the eye area, which is the most sensitive.
- Manage hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause, can trigger melasma. Oil production, cell regeneration, and collagen production slow down as we age. Talk to your doctor about ways to manage these changes.
- Treat underlying medical conditions: Certain conditions, such as thyroid problems or autoimmune disorders, can contribute to melasma. Treating these conditions may help improve your skin.
Treatment of Melasma
Melasma is a skin condition that causes dark patches on the face. Melasma treatment may vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some of the most effective treatments for melasma include topical medications, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy. It is important to consult a dermatologist to decide the best treatment plan for your specific case of melasma.
Various options are available for treating skin problems, some of which can be bought over the counter, while others require a prescription from a dermatologist. Recently, my dermatologist prescribed a Tretinoin cream, which proved quite effective. Tretinoin is similar to Retinol but is more potent and can only be obtained through a prescription.
Most topical treatments aim to get the top layer of skin to shed. They are aiming to improve your uneven skin tone. They can be drying to the skin, so sensitive skin types need to be cautious when using them. Be sure to moisturize your skin when using a topical treatment.
Chemical Peel Treatments:
There are many benefits of chemical peels and they are an effective treatment option for melasma. During a chemical peel, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, which causes the top layer of the skin to peel off. This process helps to remove the dark patches caused by melasma and reveal brighter, more even-toned skin. Chemical peels can be done in a dermatologist’s office or at a medical spa, and different types of peels are available, ranging from medium peels to deep peels. It’s important to consult a dermatologist to decide which type of chemical peel is best for your skin type and the severity of your melasma.
Laser treatment is another option for treating melasma. During laser treatment, a beam of light is used to target the dark patches on the skin. The light energy is absorbed by the melanin in the skin, which causes the dark patches to break up and fade away. Laser treatment can be effective but may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results for healthier skin. It’s important to consult with a dermatologist to decide if laser treatment is the right option for your specific case of melasma.
Are you struggling with skin texture and dark spots? I can relate, as I have been dealing with these issues for years. I was hesitant to visit a dermatologist, fearing that they might diagnose me with skin cancer. However, I have been educating myself over the years, and my skin has gradually improved. I believe that yours can, too!
Please feel free to share in the comments if you have tried any treatments that have worked for you or if you plan on trying anything new.