If you are one of the 600,000 Canadian women affected by the skin condition known as Melasma, this article is for you!
Also known as chloasma, Melasma is a skin condition that commonly affects women (although it is possible for men to get it too). Brown patches resembling freckles often appear on the chin, cheeks, forehead, and between the nose and upper lip. Discolouration of the skin occurs due to skin cell overproduction. These pigment-causing cells are known as melanocytes.
While Melasma causes discolouration of the skin, it is not an indicator of cancer nor is it contagious. Before searching for the nearest “Melasma treatment near me”, know the facts behind this common skin disorder.
Below, we will discuss everything you need to know when seeking Melasma treatment in Brampton.
What Are the Types of Melasma?
There are three main types of Melasma: epidermal, dermal, and mixed. You skincare specialist will likely use a black light to determine which type of Melasma you have.
If you have epidermal Melasma, it means that the pigmentation is in the more superficial layers of the skin, known as the epidermis. Because of this, epidermal Melasma is easily treatable. Usually, epidermal Melasma has a dark brown colour and appears to have a distinct border.
Dermal Melasma is a little harder to treat because the pigment is in the deeper layers of the skin. Usually, dermal Melasma consists of a light brown colouring that may appear to have a bluish tint.
Lastly, mixed Melasma is a combination of epidermal and dermal Melasma. It appears to have both bluish and brown patches and responds well to treatment. This is the most common type of Melasma.
What Causes Melasma?
There is no one set cause of Melasma and no one is immune to this type of skin condition. As it affects the pigmentation of the skin, it is more prevalent in those with darker tones. More than 33% of people are affected by Melasma, 1 in 9 of which are women and only 1 in 39 are men.
Below are some natural and environmental factors that may trigger the skin condition.
- Sun Exposure
As Melasma is a direct result of changes within our skin cells, it stands to reason that sun exposure can worsen symptoms. Whether the source is the sun or artificial light, the melanocytes in the exposed areas of the skin begin to produce melanin.
Melasma triggered by sun exposure may be prevented with proper sun protection. Using high SPF sunscreens, wearing clothes that cover the skin, and wearing a hat to shield the face can help.
- Hormonal Changes
Our hormones are forever changing whether it be from age, medical conditions, or by external sources. More studies are needed but, thus far, it is believed our melanocytes respond to the hormones progesterone and estrogen.
This may be why women, particularly pregnant women, have more cases of Melasma than men due to their increased levels of estrogen. Estrogen is known to increase the production of melanocortin receptors, which in turn, cause the pigment-producing cells to be sensitive to sun exposure.
A high number of progesterone receptors are also noted in postmenopausal women. A recent study found that those taking progesterone supplements had a higher number of cases of Melasma than those taking only estrogen.
Melasma is sometimes referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” due to the hormonal changes in pregnancy. Nearly 50% of pregnant women deal with Melasma during the third trimester.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications containing a hormonal supplement may stimulate the cells to increase pigment production. Oral contraceptives contain both estrogen and progesterone, which can trigger symptoms.
Cancer treatment drugs containing the man-made estrogen hormone known as diethylstilbestrol have been linked to a rise in Melasma cases. Patients receiving anti-seizure treatment with particular medications may also have Melasma.
- Skincare Products
As with any sensitive skin or medical condition, the products used directly on our skin can cause irritation. Certain skincare products may also trigger Melasma symptoms.
Depending on the individual, products containing lactic acid, peppermint, glycolic acid, and fragrances may activate Melasma. Harsh toners and exfoliators can also worsen the condition.
What Is the Treatment for Melasma?
Melasma is visually detected by a dermatologist or skincare specialist who may use a Wood’s lamp or dermatoscope (black light) to diagnose the condition. A biopsy may also be required as Melasma can mimic other skin conditions.
Unfortunately, as of now, there is no cure for Melasma. There are, however, several non-invasive Melasma removal treatments available to help lessen the appearance. As with any skin condition treatment, results vary from person to person. In some cases, Melasma may only last a short time before disappearing.
- Laser Spectra Peel
Known as the Hollywood Peel, the Spectra Carbon Laser Peel treatment focuses on the pigmentation within the cells by removing the top layer of the skin (epidermis), so that newer, healthier skin cells can develop. Specialists use carbon cream and laser light energy to disrupt the uneven skin tone.
- Laser Toning
A laser toning treatment uses the light energy of a precise wavelength to penetrate the skin layers to reach the deeper dermal layer. It disrupts the colour pigments and evens out the skin tone by sending the body into repair mode.
Microneedling is used to initiate the dermis cells to begin rebuilding. The process involves using tiny needles to pierce the skin and break the blood vessels below the surface of the skin. Doing this increases blood supply to the treatment area and stimulates collagen production and healthy cells to develop.
Book an Appointment at Heart Lake Aesthetics for Melasma Treatment in Brampton
While Melasma is a harmless condition, it is a chronic disorder that can be treated. Heart Lake Aesthetics is a full-service medispa located in Brampton. We provide high-quality medical aesthetic services and provide skincare, including Melasma removal, for all skin types safely and effectively.
By using advanced technology, we can help treat Melasma and other skin conditions, regardless of your skin tone. Contact our licensed, knowledgeable, and friendly staff to book an appointment at our top-of-the-line medical clinic today!