Melasma is one of the most complex skin conditions. Often referred to as a pregnancy mask, melasma is typically caused by hormone production. It presents on the skin in dark brown patches most often found on the forehead, nose, cheeks and upper lip. Melasma can be induced by pregnancy, medication or sun exposure. While it is most common in woman, there are instances where men develop the stubborn pigment as well. At our Kansas City area Medical Spa, our licensed estheticians, Natalie and Heather, have years of experience treating melasma. Contact our office today to schedule your complimentary skin evaluation.
Melasma is easily diagnosed by someone that has experience in skin care. Our estheticians will do a full skin assessment along with capturing photos with our Visia complexion analysis system during consultations. There are many times melasma is visible on the surface of the skin. This is referred to as epidermal melasma. However, there are other instances where the melasma isn’t visible to the naked eye. This type of melasma is referred to as dermal melasma. It is not uncommon to see the melasma present in both the dermis and epidermis. Regardless of the location, melasma has to be treated with caution and patience.
The Epidermis is the outer most layer of the skin. Often times when melasma is present in the epidermis it is visible with the naked eye. It is common to see melasma darken in the summer months as it stimulated and darkened by heat and sun exposure. We have seen beautiful success with the use of Obagi Nu-Derm products. These products use a combination of prescription strength Retin-a products, hydroquinone and exfoliators. They are formulated to increase cell turnover and push the products into the skin. This process lightens the melanocyte cells and breaks them apart resulting in a lessened appearance of the mask. Finishing the process with chemical peel such as the Vi Peel will increase results and enhance the Obagi products.
Dermal melasma is more difficult to detect and treat. With the help of our Visia complexion analysis system we are able to see the levels of the skin that the melasma is present. Dermal melasma is down in the deeper levels of the skin, which is called the dermis. This pigment has to be delicately targeted and broken apart followed by products that assist in lightening the pigment. As this pigment can be stimulated by heat, it is a very precise treatment and you should make sure you’re having a treatment done by a highly trained, licensed professional. Treatments such as IPL or BBL should never be used to treat melasma. They are photo rejuvenation treatments that use heat and light to target sun damage. This process will stimulate melasma and make it darker and more stubborn to lighten.
Our treatment of choice for dermal melasma is the Halo Hybrid Fractionated laser. This treatment uses dual wavelengths to target the surface and depths of the skin. Your esthetician is able to customize the depth and density of the laser to match your melasma. This will break apart the deep dark pigment. It is imperative that you follow all post procedure protocols and treatment and product recommendations to ensure long lasting results.
Clear Skin is a Phone Call Away
If you’re tired of dealing with the mask like melasma pigment, contact our office today. Our skin care consultations are always complimentary. Your esthetician will be able to formulate a product regime and procedure treatment plan specifically for you. Don’t wait, clear skin is just a phone call away!