If you have pigmentation on your skin then you may have a skin condition called melasma. The good news is that this condition isn’t dangerous and is treatable. So, what is melasma and how do you know if you have it?
What is melasma?
If you’ve ever noticed dark patches of skin on your face that you thought was healing sunburn, the chances are that it may be melasma. Melasma is a skin condition that causes brown or grey-brown patches to appear on your face, normally on your forehead, chin, upper lip and cheeks. It occurs due to overactivity of the melanocytes – cells that make the skin’s colour appear as it does. People can have mild to severe melasma and around 90% of cases tend to be in women. Furthermore, it’s more common in women with darker skin tones. It tends to occur during pregnancy, after being exposed to the sun or while taking birth control.
How to treat melasma?
Despite not having any other symptoms, dermatologists can usually diagnose melasma by looking at it. The best form of treatment for melasma is to start applying an SPF every day. New melasma patches may clear up on their own without SPF but wearing sunblock will help to protect your skin from the sun and prevent sun damage. If melasma doesn’t clear on its own, a topical cream may be used.
For more severe cases, a peel, microdermabrasion or a light based treatment like IPL or intense pulsed light can be delivered to help reduce uneven pigmentation. These professional treatments tend to be effective in treating cases where a topical cream does not perform well.
How will microdermabrasion treat melasma?
Microdermabrasion will help to remove patches of melasma by using ultra fine crystals to exfoliate the skin and stimulating skin cell renewal. A course of treatments performed every 7-10 days is critical to get the best results. A very high factor sun protection should be worn at all times to prevent further damage and stop the pigmentation from reoccurring.