What is melasma?
Melasma is a skin condition characterized by dark, discolored patches on the face, typically on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin. These patches are usually symmetrical and can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, sun exposure, and certain medications. Melasma is most commonly found in women, especially during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills. It can also be caused by hormonal imbalances and certain medical conditions. Melasma is not harmful, but it can be a source of emotional distress for some people. It can be treated with topical creams, chemical peels, and laser therapy. Sun protection is also important in preventing melasma from worsening.
How do I know if I have melasma?
Have a free* consult with our nursing team and they can examine your pigment and discuss treatment options – contact us to book. ($50 fee redeemable with treatment)
Why can pregnancy cause melasma?
Pregnancy can cause melasma, also known as “the mask of pregnancy,” because of the increased levels of hormones in the body. Hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone, can stimulate the production of melanin, which is the pigment that gives color to the skin. This increased production of melanin can lead to the development of dark patches on the skin, known as melasma.
Another possible mechanism that might play a role in the development of melasma during pregnancy is the increased sensitivity of skin to UV rays. Pregnant women may be more susceptible to sun damage, which can exacerbate melasma.
It’s important to note that not all pregnant women will develop melasma. Factors such as genetics, skin type, and sun exposure can also play a role in the development of the condition.
After pregnancy, melasma may resolve spontaneously, but it can also persist or even worsen. It’s important to consult a dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan. Sun protection is also important to prevent melasma from worsening.
What lasers are best for melasma removal?
There are several types of laser therapy that may be used to treat melasma, including:
- Spectra, Pastelle
- Picoway, Picosure Pro
- Fraxel 1927, C+B diode 1927, Frax Pro, LaseMD ultra
- Fractional NA 1550
- Vascular lasers- 532 DermaV, 595 Prima, 595 Perfecta
It’s also important to mention that Melasma has a tendency of relapsing after laser treatment and sometimes it might need a combination of lasers with other treatments, such as topical creams or chemical peels, to achieve optimal results. How do I know which laser is best for my melasma?
It’s best to have a free ($50 fee redeemable with treatment) consult with our nursing team to discuss the right treatment options for you – contact us to book.
Can all skin types be treated for melasma?
How soon will I notice the results from melasma removal lasers?
Do chemical peels help remove melasma?
Chemical peels can be an effective but dermatologists prefer lasers as they are inherently safer, more predictable & cost less. Peels, including Dermamelan, Cosmelan & Melapeels are useful for fast results, at the expense of higher costs, risks & downtime.
Peels are useful for out-of-town patients, & for superficial pigment. They have a dismal clearance rate for deeper pigment.
|Low to no risk
|Slow & consistent results
|3-7 day downtime
|4-8+ day downtime
Can skin care help melasma?
What is the first step in melasma skin care?
Determining the level of pigmentation is the most important step. We do this via a clinical examination, dermatoscope or Wood lighting.
- Superficial pigmentation: much easier to treat, expect improvements within 1-4 weeks.
- Mixed epidermal & dermal: the majority of cases, intermediate prognosis
- Dermal deep melasma.: very hard to shift.
What skin care helps melasma?
- Sun protection: Melasma is often exacerbated by sun exposure, so it is important to protect the skin from UV rays. This can be done by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure.
- Topical creams: Topical creams containing hydroquinone, glycolic acid, or kojic acid can help to lighten dark patches caused by melasma. These creams work by inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin.
- Medical-grade skincare: Medical-grade skincare products such as retinoids, vitamin C, and antioxidants can also help to improve the appearance of melasma by promoting skin cell turnover and providing anti-inflammatory benefits.
What type of sunscreen should I be using for melasma?
SPF 50+, twice a day, regardless of sun exposure. One bottle should last you 2.5 to 3 weeks. La Roche Posay, Neutrogena and the Cancer Council make great affordable brands. You can find a nice range of effective cosmeceutical products at The Formulated.
What does tranexamic acid do?
Scientific research in the past decade has shown that pigment cells are signalled to produce more melanin. To reduce this signalling, we often prescribe tranexamic acid, either topically or orally.
What do melasma treatments cost?
At Cutis Dermatology Brisbane…
- Lasers start at $139 per session
- Chemical peels at $98 per session
- Creams work out to be less than $1 a day
Arrange a FREE* nurse consultation at our Brisbane clinics. *T&C apply