Lighten that Melasma!
By Nicole Eslava, APRN What is melasma? Melasma is a skin condition characterized by darker brown spots that present on face, neck and sometimes on the body. This discoloration is often called “the mask of pregnancy” because it often appears during pregnancy. Hormonal changes in the body during times of pregnancy, menopause or high stress […]
By Nicole Eslava, APRN
What is melasma?
Melasma is a skin condition characterized by darker brown spots that present on face, neck and sometimes on the body. This discoloration is often called “the mask of pregnancy” because it often appears during pregnancy. Hormonal changes in the body during times of pregnancy, menopause or high stress can also bring out the melasma. Melasma darkens and lightens depending on heat exposure and weather with it appearing darker in the summer and lighter in the winter.
Being that melasma is triggered by heat, sunscreen is the number one step in cutting down on those pesky dark spots. This also includes keeping your core body temperature down and avoiding hot tubs and saunas when possible. It is recommended that you keep cooling measures like coolers or fans nearby when avoiding heat is impossible. A good sunscreen with the active ingredient zinc oxide can help reduce the number of UV rays your skin absorbs. It isn’t enough to just put sunscreen on in the morning though, you must reapply every 90-120 minutes due to sweating or product wearing off. Sunscreen is not optional in treating melasma, it is an absolute must.
Vitamin C Serum
Another great option to add to your skincare routine is Vitamin C. This serum can help lighten and brighten your skin. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that’s a key component of many skin-brightening regimens, as it interferes with pigment production and keeps inflammation at bay. Applying the Vitamin C serum each morning can improve skin tone and resilience resulting in brightened and radiant skin.
Fractional for melasma
Fractional laser treatments can help break down the surface pigment each month. This quick procedure, done at Couture Med Spa, makes such a difference in helping lighten the pigment. Our fractional laser is a great non-ablative option to add to your monthly routine to see quicker results. For this procedure, you arrive in the office 45 minutes before your treatment time to be numbed. During and after the procedure, ice will be applied to the treated area to help with comfort. What is great about this laser is there is no downtime after treatment. For best results, fractional lasers are done every 4 weeks.
Hydroquinone is another topical product that can be applied to lighten dark melasma spots. This product is a lightning agent that, over time, helps reduce the appearance of melasma. Every night, hydroquinone will be applied to the skin with a simple cotton round. Over time, this product will lighten the dark spots and give the look of brighter skin. You can talk to your provider who will recommend a starting strength of this product. Consistent use of hydroquinone is important for quick results.
A great addition to the skincare routine to help treat melasma is tretinoin. It is also known as retinoic acid and its generic name for synthetic vitamin A. It works by increasing the rate of cellular turnover and lightening post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Tretinoin is best used in conjunction with other products and treatments for melasma as it alone will not completely get rid of melasma. Apply this product with clean hands each night avoiding the eyes, mouth, and nasal and mouth creases. You can talk to your provider who will recommend a starting strength of this product. Just like hydroquinone, consistent use of tretinoin is important for quick results.