Melasma & Other Pigmentation Conditions
Skin pigmentation can have a significant impact on self-confidence and there are several factors that cause it. Fortunately, there are also several treatment options to minimise its appearance.
Primarily pigmentation is formed based on a person’s genetic background, which is a result of both biological parents’ genetic makeup. The other way in which an individual can produce pigment is through direct exposure to ultraviolet (UV) in particular UVB light. This exposure to UVB increases the production of specific pigment cells to produce melanin commonly known as “melanogenesis”. This is the skin’s way of protecting itself from the harmful rays produced by the sun. The result from this is commonly seen as the development of freckles and other small-pigmented lesions.
In this section on pigmentation concerns we are going to predominantly discuss the main pigmentation condition that we frequently see in the clinic, Melasma.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a chronic skin condition that causes symmetrical blotchy, brownish pigmentation patterns on the surface of the skin. In most cases, Melasma commonly appears on the face in a “centrofacial pattern”, presenting on the forehead, cheeks, nose and upper lip. However, in fewer cases Melasma can affect any part of the body.
Melasma is more common in women than in men with an onset of this condition usually presenting between the ages of 20 and 40 years.
What Causes Melasma?
There are many factors that have been linked to contributing to the exacerbation of this condition. These can include:
- Genetic Predisposition
- Sun exposure and Sun damage
- Hormonal factors such as pregnancy
- Certain Medications- such as the contraceptive pill and cancer medications
How is Melasma Treated?
Melasma is a difficult condition to treat as it is easily aggravated by sun exposure and hormones. Due to this, complete eradication of this condition is almost impossible. However, here at CRC we do offer a few treatment options that have scientifically been proven to help minimise its appearance.
We recommend that you come in for a consultation with one of our experienced dermal clinicians to determine an appropriate treatment plan. Depending on its severity, you may be prescribed a topical ointment to apply to the area of concern. This cream acts as a bleaching agent, as well as assisting in stopping the over-production of pigmented cells responsible for the onset of this condition.
Other treatment options for Melasma/Skin Pigmentation:
These are designed to assist in lifting any superficial pigment that begins to arise to the surface of the skin following the application of the topical ointment. These need to be performed monthly and are at a cost of $87.00 per treatment.
Q-Switch laser is a safe and highly effective approach in treating melasma. Q-Switch lasers work by emitting wavelengths of light at fast, short intervals of energy resulting in producing a “photoacoustic response”. This response causes the pigment to shatter into finer, pigmented granules allowing the body’s lymphatic system to eliminate the unwanted pigment.
To see what treatment option would best treat your melasma, give the clinic a call to schedule a consultation appointment.
We look forward to helping you on your skin care journey.
Book an appointment with Hayley today!
All consultations cost $50.00 and are performed by our experienced dermal clinicians.
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