DARKENING PIGMENTATION– MELASMA
Melasma is a frustrating, embarrassing skin condition. It often presents on the face in patches of brown or grey spots. These darkened areas most commonly appear on the forehead and above the upper lip but it may also occur on the cheeks, chin and nose. Women often refer to it as “pregnancy mask” as it may occur after their first child was born. Many times it has gone undiagnosed for years and left untreated. Skin of color (Asian and Hispanic) find increased spots of color difficult to camouflage and are often the first to seek advice, as compared to Caucasians.
Individuals, who have been properly diagnosed with melasma, can incorporate a number of lifestyle changes and customized daily skin care regimens, along with prescription peels to improve this condition. A broad spectrum sun protection used every day will help protect their skin from darkening. We encourage you to visit Susan’s “Sun Bar” in our office to find the right protection for you.
Most individuals will see improvement in 2-4 weeks by using the prescription medications of hydroquinone, tretinoin and possibly corticosteroids. The Obagi Nuderm® system is an effective daily at-home skin regimen that incorporates two of these topical prescription medications to improve melasma. Profractional™ laser treatments can also break up this difficult pigment. These laser treatments improve the overall appearance of the skin by smoothing skin texture, evening out irregular color and brightening the tone.