Melasma strikes quick, but takes ages to disappear. Thanks to sun exposure and hormones, many feel forced to conceal the brown marks on their face with thick, pasty make-up. If you think you’ve got melasma, be sure to wear sun block every day and play with your diet. You never know what might help to reduce the appearance of melasma.
Both freckles and melasma are a result of a genetic predisposition and direct sun exposure. Freckles and melasma normally form on the nose, cheeks, and forehead as a result of pigment-producing cells (the melanocytes) in the skin creating melanin at an increased rate. The color of freckles vary from yellow to red, however, melasma is normally tan or a light brown color.
Unlike what is commonly seen with freckles, melasma can form on the lips and upper lip in large patches. Often times melasma forms in symmetrical shapes on the face. For example, patches may form on both temples or on both cheeks in the same place where as freckles appear randomly on the skin.
Treatments to reduce the appearance of freckles can be quite similar to melasma treatments, for instance laser treatments, bleaching, and products like Peter Thomas Roth Potent Botanical Skin Brightening Gel Complex are often recommended.
No. In some cases individuals with thyroid disease are also plagued with melasma. However, melasma itself does not present any danger.
Other than the appearance of brown, patchy skin, there are no other symptoms that accompany melasma. In most cases the brown spots will fade with time; especially for women who have an increased presence of melasma during pregnancy (often called the mask of pregnancy) or an increased presence because of the use of certain medications (like birth control). However, for many people melasma is stubborn and does not fade on its own. In those cases visiting a spa for personalized skin treatments and using certain products designed to aid the disappearance of the hyper-pigmentation is the only solution.
Melasma is treatable. In some cases it can be difficult to make the spots disappear, but there are many skin treatments and products that will lighten or remove the hyper-pigmentation. Below are key melasma treatments and preventative tips.
- Use sun block every day
- If you can’t avoid sun exposure, wear a hat and other protective clothing
- Use a mild scrub like DDF Pumice Acne Scrub twice a week. This will promote the re-growth of skin cells
- Moisturize with a lotion that includes retinol like Murad’s Skin Perfecting Lotion
- Maintain a balanced diet full of all the necessary skin-healthy vitamins
- Consult a dermatologist or an esthetician who may recommend or chemical peels
Yes, but be patient.
Melasma does not fade easily, but a great first start is to protect yourself from the sun by using sunblock every day, including foods containing antioxidants in your diet, and by using the proper exfoliating scrub and moisturizer. All four of these steps will expedite the disappearance of hyper-pigmentation, but this is just the beginning.
Because every person has a different history with the sun, levels of hormones, and genetic predisposition, it is imperative that melasma sufferers consult a dermatologist or esthetician at a local spa that may advise him or her on the options, because there are a variety of treatment options.
Yes, but male melasma is not as common as female melasma.
Even though 90% of melasma is seen in women of reproductive age, some men do suffer and can benefit from skin products and treatments as well. A treatable and common skin ailment, melasma is most frequently seen among women who are pregnant or taking the birth control pill, but men can also have the tan or dark patches on their skin.