Do you have dark, asymmetrical patches of skin on your face, arms or hands? Or have you seen folks who have these dark patches? First, we want to reassure you that melasma itself is harmless! And if you have it, chances are you’re spending a good amount of time each day covering it up, whether with makeup or clothing. We totally understand how frustrating this can be! That’s why our expert team here in College Station is ready to help you better understand melasma as well as the treatments we offer to improve it.
If you’re frustrated by melasma, you may be perfect for our new membership here at Artisan’s Rejuvenation Med Spa. This new membership includes either a monthly PICO Genesis laser treatment or a chemical peel, a complimentary sunscreen, 10% off skincare products, $50 off Artox, and an annual rejuvenation treatment. Learn how you can join by calling 979-704-6879.
So, what exactly is melasma?
Melasma is a very common skin condition that causes dark (darker than your skin color), discolored patches on your skin, most often found on the face, neck or forearms. When on the face, it is typically symmetrical, with matching marks on both sides of the face. It is sometimes called chloasma, or the “mask of pregnancy,” because it commonly affects pregnant women, as a result of hormonal fluctuations. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 90% of people with melasma are female.
What causes melasma?
While the exact cause of melasma isn’t completely clear, studies have shown that those with darker skin are more likely to develop this condition than those with lighter skin tones. Estrogen and progesterone sensitivity have also been associated with this condition, meaning that birth control pills, pregnancy and hormone therapy can all trigger melasma.
In addition to hormonal triggers, we do know that sun exposure can trigger melasma because ultraviolet (UV) rays affect the cells in your skin that control pigment, called melanocytes. (Another reason to stick with one of our favorite skin care recommendations: Apply SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every day, rain or shine!) The connection between melasma and sun exposure can also, at least sometimes, explain why it is commonly found on the face, neck and chest, all areas that often get the most sun exposure.
Other known melasma triggers: stress and thyroid disease.
How can I treat my melasma?
Chemical peels and laser treatments are among our favorite treatments for melasma because they are some of the most effective, since they exfoliate or remove the top-most layer of skin, and some people may only need one treatment. That being said, depending on the depth and darkness of your melasma, it may require a series of treatments to reach your full results. Treating melasma doesn’t mean that it won’t return at some point (unless it was caused by pregnancy or birth control pills), which is why we recommend maintaining periodic treatments of whichever kind of treatment best suits you. Our team is trained and experienced in treating melasma and other signs of sun damage using PICO Genesis laser treatment, chemical peels, specific skin care products and more. We can help you determine your ideal treatment regimen during your personal consultation!
How do I get started?