Melasma, also known as “Chloasma faciei” or the “mask of pregnancy”when present in pregnant women, is a tan or dark skin discoloration that looks like tiny islands on your skin. Although it can affect anyone, melasma is particularly common in women such as those who are pregnant and those taking oral or patch contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Melasma is caused by the stimulation of melanocytes or pigment-producing cells by estrogen and progesterone to produce more melanin pigments when the skin is exposed to the sun. Women with light brown skin living in regions with intense sun exposure are particularly prone to melasma.
Genes can also determine whether a person will develop melisma or not.
The likelihood of developing melasma also increases in patients struggling with a thyroid disorder. It is also believed that stress can also trigger the condition. Other causes of melisma, albeit rare, include allergic reaction to medications and cosmetics.
Several treatments have been developed to treat melisma, including:
-Chemical peels. The most commonly used acid compounds that remove melasma include trichloroacetic acid, azelaic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, and various fruit extracts such as alpha hydroxyl acids. Extra-strength peeling agents tend to have a higher effectiveness rate than peeling agents with lower strength. At Renaissance Medical Aesthetics our patients are getting very effective results with the cosmelan peel combined with a bleaching agent and pharmaceutical strength sunscreen.
-Skin lightening, whitening, or bleaching agents. There are many skin lightening agents on the market and the most commonly used is hydroquinone. At Renaissance Medical Aesthetics we compound our propriatory bleaching agent and also use Blanche and Perle by Neocutis. Pharmaceutical grade sunscreens especially those that are mineral-based having zinc and titanium as the active ingredients are essential to prevent reoccurence of the pigmentation
Laser skin rejuvenation via Fraxel laser treatments, Cosmelan Peel, or Laser Genesis is used at Renaissance Medical Aesthetics to treat melasma effectively. Call to schedule your complimentary consultation.