What is Melasma?
Melasma is a very common patchy brown, tan, or blue-gray facial skin discoloration, usually seen in women in the reproductive years. It typically appears on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin of women 20-50 years of age. It is uncommon in males. It is thought to be primarily related to external sun exposure, external hormones like birth control pills, and internal hormonal changes as seen in pregnancy. Most people with melasma have a history of daily or intermittent sun exposure, although heat is also suspected to be an underlying factor. Melasma is most common among pregnant women, especially those of Latin and Asian descents. People with olive or darker skin, like Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern individuals, have higher incidences of melasma.
Prevention is primarily aimed at facial sun protection and sun avoidance. Treatment requires regular sunscreen application, lightening products containing the ingredient Kojac and other fading creams.
What causes Melasma?
The cause is not fully understood although it occurs quite frequently in pregnancy and in the majority the condition fades after the delivery. Some acquire it while taking oral contraceptives although it doesn’t always fade after discontinuation of these. All patients with melasma find that it is increased with increased exposure to UV light and this must indeed be the cause in males where oestrogen is not contributory.
What does Melasma look like?
There is pigmentation on the face. It is usually fairly symmetrical, patchy, ill defined and light or dark brown depending on recent sun exposure.
If you are living with sun or photodamage (sunspots, pigment), melasma, or fine lines, LaseMD™ may be a great option for you. The LaseMD ™ is a fractionated nonablative laser, safe for almost every skin type, and can be tailored to have minimal downtime. It offers patients the chance to achieve a “glow” in their face, making for a less dull complexion.
LaseMD’s™ technology works by creating micro-channels with minimal disruption to the first layer of the skin, the stratum corneum while leaving bridges of untouched tissue for faster healing and reduced downtimes. What makes LaseMD ™ so unique is that in creating these precise microchannels we can deliver drug/s (ampoules) directly into the skin to exert maximal effects. The microchannels are then sealed during the recovery process, while the active ingredients delivered by the ampoules, whether it be VA, VC, TA (tranexamic acid ) for pigment, are absorbed into the dermis layer. This is called LADD—laser-assisted drug delivery. Lase MD™ is highly versatile and can treat not only the face, but also chest, neck, hands, and other areas of the body.