Tired of wearing a mask?
Melasma is a very common condition of brown discoloration on sun exposed areas of the face, commonly the cheeks, upper lip, and forehead.
Melasma typically worsens with sun exposure, birth control pills, and hormones of pregnancy.
Although it can affect both genders and any race, it is more common in women and people with darker skin types.
Melasma usually becomes more noticeable in the summer and improves during the winter months.
Melasma is a common type of skin discoloration marked by brown patches on the face. Most commonly, it occurs in women between 20 to 50 years of age, women who have naturally darker skin tone, and women who are pregnant. Men rarely experience this type of hyperpigmentation of the skin. In fact, because it’s primarily experienced by women in their reproductive years, it gained the nickname, “mask of pregnancy.”
Melasma is thought to affect more than six million women in North American alone, and most women with this skin discoloration either have a history of regular sun exposure, are pregnant and/or have darker tones of skin, such as Latin, Asian and Middle Eastern ethnicities. Melasma can also become exacerbated by heat, spicy foods, UV, alcohol, exercise and harsh skin products.
The chronic condition is caused by an overproduction of melanin, which is the pigment responsible for determining skin, hair, and eye colour. It’s thought that 25-30% of those with Melasma may have a genetic predisposition to the condition with other family members also being affected.
While it can often disappear or fade over time, in certain cases melasma can become so severe it cannot be concealed by make-up, causing the sufferer to become quite self-conscious of their appearance.
What Causes Melasma?
The exact cause of melasma is unknown, but uncontrolled exposure to sunlight is considered the leading factor, especially in people with a genetic predisposition for hyperpigmentation.
Melasma commonly develops during the summer months, when the strong ultraviolet rays from the sun cause melanin production in the skin cells. This skin discoloration typically fades and becomes less visible in the winter. In the true case of the “mask of pregnancy”, it is thought that melasma may be caused by increased levels of progesterone. In many cases, the hyperpigmentation gradually disappears after giving birth.
Melasma can be one of the most frustratingly difficult skin conditions to treat however with a combination of in-clinic treatments and a strict home care program, the unsightly appearance of melasma can be at least significantly reduced and even in some cases, cleared for a short period of time.
Our treatment options include laser procedures to help reduce hyperpigmentation, medical grade fading creams and facial peels that help lighten and even out the tone and appearance of your skin and a daily skin care routine that includes regular sun protection with broad spectrum sunblock and vitamin C protectants to decrease the skin’s exposure to the sun.
Book Your Free Melasma Treatment Consultation Today
If you would like to have even-toned skin again, please contact us to book a consultation with Dr. Rao. He will be able to determine if you are experiencing melasma and discuss possible treatments for your melasma. Use the form below to book your free consultation today.