Melasma: What it is & how to manage it.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a common skin condition that causes brown or grayish-brown patches on the skin, typically on the face. The exact cause of melasma is not fully understood, but it is believed to be linked to hormonal changes, sun exposure, dilated blood vessels,inflammation and genetic factors.
how is melasma treated?
The best treatment for Melasma depends on the severity of the condition and the individual’s skin type. Generally a combination of treatments using different modalities to target the various underlying triggers of Melasma.
Here are some treatment options that may be effective:
Sun protection: Protecting the skin from sun exposure is key to managing melasma. Wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, wearing a hat and protective clothing, and avoiding the sun during peak hours can help prevent further darkening of the patches.
Topical creams: Prescription-strength creams containing brightening agents such as Kojic acid,arbutin, tretinoin, or corticosteroids may be used to lighten the dark patches. These creams may take several weeks or months to show results and should be used under the guidance of a licensed doctor with expertise in melasma.
Oral Medications: Tranexamic acid is so far the only prescription medication widely used for melasma. Other oral regimens used are melatonin, Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
Chemical peels: Chemical peels can help improve the appearance of melasma by removing the top layers of skin. Dermatologists may recommend a series of peels using glycolic acid or other alpha-hydroxy acids.
Hydradermabrasion: This treatment uses a special device to remove the outermost layer of skin, helping to reduce the appearance of melasma. Multiple sessions may be required.
Laser therapy: Laser therapy can be effective for treating melasma by targeting the excess pigment in the skin. Multiple treatments over 3-6 months may be required to achieve optimal results.
what results can I expect from melasma treatment?
Given the complex nature of melasma, the best treatment and management plan involves taking action to remove dark patches, inflammation and blotchy blood vessels, attention to diet and nutrition to eliminate potential inciting agents, while faithfully applying topical inhibiting creams and protecting the skin with sunscreen.