Changes in hormones kick in, and dark spots begin to appear, this calls for melasma treatment. Sometimes the spots could be dark brown or gray; this typically affects parts of your face and body exposed to the sun.
What causes these skin pigmentation to appear?
The good news is that prevention is seriously natural at least according to New York-based dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian.
Even dermatologists say that wearing sunscreen religiously will do the trick. Creams and similar products can moisturize and whiten the skin while cream products like Skin Bleaching Cream by Scobuty protect you from sunburn.
The key is to look for products that can whiten your skin but will not cause any form of irritation.
For women who are pregnant or using birth control pills, melasma will disappear on its own. If skin discoloration remains, healthcare professionals can prescribe topical steroids to help lighten the affected area.
What Is Melasma and What Causes It
The word referring to the skin discoloration is derived from the Greek word melas which means black color. Having melasma is not something rare; it is a common skin problem. It is not clear what causes melasma. However, darker skinned individuals are more prone to having these skin patches. This is because the skin has more active pigment-producing cells. The patches in melasma are larger but, it has the same mechanism that causes brown age spots and freckles.
Ultraviolet rays of the sun affect the cells that control skin pigment hence the presence of hyperpigmentation. Birth control pills act as common triggers since the use of estrogen and progesterone is associated with the condition. Sometimes melasma is also referred to as chloasma or mask of pregnancy since it occurs in pregnant women due to hormonal changes. This means merely pregnant women and those on hormone therapy can suffer from skin discoloration.
Other triggers include stress, thyroid disease, and anti-seizure medicines. One of the most different reasons for having skin hyperpigmentation contains genes. About 30 percent of patients that has melasma are related to people who have the condition. People who are identical twins are at risk on having these but, not so with fraternal twins.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 90 percent of women develop this condition more than men. Melasma appears like patches on your skin that is darker than your usual skin color.
Melasma typically appears on the face and other areas of your body sensitive to sun exposure like the following areas:
- Bridge of the nose
The skin discoloration might not cause your pain at least physical pain. However, you might feel self-conscious once other people start to take a second look at you. It is the emotional distress that affects at least an estimated six million women in America alone that develops these dark skin patches. Misinformation about the usual causes makes it sometimes difficult to find the right melasma treatment.
Are There Different Types of Melasma?
Yes, to answer this question, there are four types of diagnosed melasma, and these are:
Dark brown patches characterize this kind of melasma. Epidermal melasma will appear in black light and will respond to treatment. Epidermal melasma has a well-defined border. The epidermal type has excess melanin found in the superficial layers of your skin.
Light brown or bluish patches appear on the skin. Dermal melasma has less defined border. However, this type will not quickly respond to treatment. Exposing this type of skin discoloration to black light will not affect its appearance. Dermal melasma shows the presence of melanophages or cells that ingest melanin.
Mixed as the name implies is a combination of light, dark brown patches with bluish discoloration. The skin appears to have brown-grey looking patches. This type of skin discoloration will also respond to treatment just like epidermal. The mixed type includes both the epidermal and dermal variety of skin patches.
The unnamed type can be found in dark-skinned individuals. The skin of dark-complexioned individuals has an excess amount of melanocyte. This is a type of cell that is located in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanocytes produce melanin which in turn is responsible for skin coloration. This is the same cell that protects your skin from the harmful effects of the ultra-violet rays of the sun. In this type of skin pigmentation, the pigment is apparent when seen under Wood’s Light in skin types VI. This skin type is described as dark brown or black skin. Wood light examination determines the histological pattern for skin hyperpigmentation.
Melasma treatment must be a focus on these patterns.
o Centrofacial pattern
- This is the most common pattern
- 63 percent of skin pigmentation can be found in the forehead, cheeks, upper lips, nose and chin
o Malar pattern
- Twenty-one percent of these skin discoloration affects the cheeks and nose area.
o Mandibular pattern
- Sixteen percent is visible around the lower jaw specifically the ramus of the mandible.
Can Melasma Be Treated?
If dark spots appeared on your face and it bothers you this will be the right time to look for melasma treatment. While not all cases of skin hyperpigmentation it is still worth to give it a try.
o The key is to look for a skin whitening cream that will do the trick and hit the specific dark or brown spots on your skin
Look for a product like Club skin Cosmetics Anti-Aging Whitening Fade Treatment. The most effective whitening cream can show visible results in about six weeks. Trials made on users show an improvement in the skin color by as much as 80 percent.
o Shun the sun
You must prevent the sun from aggravating the condition further. Adopting a strict sunscreen regimen is essential. Keep in mind that not all sunscreens are created equally. You need to choose a sunscreen that will block the rays of the sun; both it’s light and heat.
Non-chemical sunblock products will stop the light and the different wavelengths. Chemical sunscreens will do more harm than good since they trigger allergic reactions making the discoloration more pronounced.
Use makeup that contains a second sunscreen to block the sun’s rays. Wear a hat as sun protection especially if you plan on spending more time outdoors for an extended period.
o Topical treatments
A dermatologist may prescribe medications and topical treatments to lighten up the skin. The standard prescription includes the use of such options as topical retinol and retinoid treatments which are directly applied on the skin. The method of these medical grade GloxiniaLife by Dr. Calle will remove dark spots on the face while it equalizes skin tone. Topical treatments such as this can speed up the body’s cells turnover process.
The results are quicker. Dr. Phanor Calle who specializes in cosmetic medicine offers this anti-aging skin rejuvenation skin care technique in a bottle. The skin whitening product comes with kojic acid which is another active ingredient that you need to look for in a topical skin lightening agent. Kojic acid is made from different species of mushroom. Other sources for Kojic acid is produced from brewing Japanese sake wine.
o Chemical Peels for Dark Skinned Patients
Patients that have darker skin types (Fitzpatrick types IV to VI) are challenging to treat. The use of glycolic peel proves to be the safest among the choices. The frequency and duration of these peels have been shown to produce the best results.
The Bottom Line
There is more than you can do to allow your skin to heal and prevent future damage. First, all of you have heard how too much sun exposure can make melasma worse; you need to reduce being expose to the sun as much as you can. Develop a good cleansing regimen that will protect the surface of your skin while strengthening its capability to fight sun damage.
Vitamins will heal damage from the sun; however, the length of time that it will take for pigmentation to fade depends on the severity of the discolored part of the skin. A few drops of serum will improve skin health. After applying the serum, use a good moisturizer to restore the lipid barrier.
It will take patience and a month or more than this for melasma treatment to bring out the desired results. There is no overnight fix. Melasma can be prevented with the use of the best skin care. In most cases, the efforts to prevent or treat hyperpigmentation is successful in keeping these annoying spots away. Superficial pigmentation is more natural to treat when compared to deep pigmentation.
However, it will take long term maintenance requires a total commitment to protect the skin not just from the sun but, from other factors that will cause hyperpigmentation. This common skin condition cannot be wholly eradicated but, with the right skin management strategies and using the right products it would be easy to achieve an even skin tone. As a bonus, your skin will look radiant. This is what your skin deserves.
Do you use any skin pigmentation cream at the moment?