Melasma consists of brown spots/patches on both sides of the face, especially on the cheeks, upper lips, nose and chin. The distribution is usually symmetrical.
What Causes Melasma?
- Hormone: Women of child-bearing age are prone.
- Certain cosmetics containing fragrances
- Deficiency of iron and folic acid
- Early treatment and long term maintanance help cure melasma
Is melasma recurrent? And why?
Yes, melasma can be very recurrent, because of stress, hormonal changes, sun exposure.
How to Prevent Melasma?
- Maintenance treatment for several months.
- Life style alterations to avoid sun light.
- Proper balanced diet.
- Avoiding Stress.
- Avoiding harmful cosmetics and facials.
- Hence, continues maintenance treatment is necessary to prevent recurrence. And with each recurrence, pigmentation penetrates deeper, and becomes more and more difficult to treat.
- So Treat it early- treat it long.
How to Use Sunscreens
- Use sunscreens regularly, daily.
- Avoid sun exposure as far as possible.
- Sun screen creams have to be applied daily, even if you are not planning to go out!!
- Apply sunscreens two three times a day.
- Apply them half hour before leaving home.
Types of Melasma and Their Treatments | What are the Creams Used for Melasma?
- Skin lightening creams
- Mild peeling agents
- Use of mild steroid creams
- The above drugs may be used in combination-called Kligman’s formula.
The treatment usually takes several weeks. The creams have to be used regularly
What is the Advanced Treatment for Melasma?
In longstanding cases, pigmentation may have penetrated deep in to the skin and in such cases response by above methods is inadequate. These cases need advanced treatment:
- Chemical peeling by alpha hydroxyl acids (Glycolic acid-obtained from sugarcane)
- Microdermabrasion- which involves use of aluminium oxide crystals under suction to remove superficial layers of skin
- Laser treatment by Fractional and Q Nd Yag Lasers
What is Chemical Peeling and How Does it Work?
- A chemical solution is applied to the skin
- This causes the outer layer to separate, peel off, and allows new skin to regenerate
- Accumulated pigment is thus removed
- The new skin is smoother , brighter and more even in colour.
Q Nd: Yag Laser-Laser Toning
- This laser specifically attacks melanin and melanocytes which produce melanin
- This is very safe and effective
- Fractional laser treatment is a new , safe, minimally invasive treatment
- This laser causes a reaction that leads to elimination of pigment, collagen remodelling
This is How Laser is Done
There may be only a slight redness for one day & the patient can go to work the very same day. Treatment is quick- only 15 minutes. 4-6 sessions are needed
Nevus of ota Q-switched laser 4 sessions
Final Message: Proper Treatment and Prevention are Important
- Treatment by creams, chemical peels and lasers Is effective in treating most cases of melasma.
- Prevention by using. Maintenance treatment, Life style alterations to avoid sun light, Proper balanced diet, Avoiding stress, Avoiding harmful cosmetics and facials is very important.
- Contact your dermatologist for more information.