What is Melasma?

Melasma is a common skin condition that causes darkened, discoloured areas on the skin. It often occurs on the face, neck, or forearms and is symmetrical, with markings on both sides of the affected area. While it is not known what exactly causes melasma, individuals with deeper olive to brown skin tones have a higher risk. Sun exposure can lead to melasma because ultraviolet rays affect the cells that control pigment in the skin. This condition is also associated with estrogen and progesterone sensitivity, and can even be triggered by pregnancy or birth control pills. 

Melasma Treatment Options

While melasma may fade on its own, some people experience it for years and episodes can recur based on exposure to its triggers. If melasma does not go away, there are several treatments available to help lighten it, including:

Hydroquinone: This treatment comes in cream, lotion, gel, or liquid form, and is applied to the skin. It works by lightening the darker areas of the skin over time and is only available by prescription. 

Cysteamine: This treatment comes in cream form and is applied to the skin for short contact.  It has a number of effects including enzyme inhibition and dopaquinone. It works by lightening the darker areas of the skin over 4 – 5 months.  It is available through DermAtelier on Avenue. 

Corticosteroids and Tretinoin: These cream medications also work to fade patches of melasma.

Other Topical Medicines: Azelaic acid, tranexamic acid, or kojic acid may be prescribed to help lighten the appearance of melasma. 

Oral medication:  Tranexamic acid is a therapy that can be prescribed to help control melasma in certain individuals.

Procedures: If topical treatments do not work, a procedure such as a chemical peel, microneedling, or lasers, may be recommended. 

Who is a Good Candidate for Melasma Treatment?

While melasma will not cause you any physical harm, it can cause you to lose self-confidence and feel self-conscious about your appearance. If you are unhappy with the look of your melasma, you can benefit from melasma treatment. The best way to determine which treatment option is best for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Beach. Simply give our office a call to get started!

What to Expect After Melasma Treatment?

It is important to understand that melasma may be stubborn, and it may take a few months of treatment before improvements are seen. After your melasma improves, you may need to continue treating the skin to ensure long-term results. Dr. Beach will give you directions on maintenance therapy, to help prevent your melasma from returning. 

Contact Us Today

If you are ready to take the first steps toward treating your melasma, contact DermAtelier on Avenue today! Our office provides a number of melasma treatment options to fit each of our patients’ individual needs. To find out how to schedule your initial consultation appointment with Dr. Beach, give us a call today!

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