Melasma is another name for hyperpigmentation. It causes brown to gray-brown patches, usually on the face, but it can appear on any part of the body. If you have dark patches on your face or your body, you may be dealing with melasma.
Here are 3 important facts you need to know about this stubborn skin condition.
Sun exposure can worsen melasma
The effects of sun on melasma should not be underestimated. In fact, studies suggest that individuals with melasma have a history of daily or intermittent sun exposure. Typically, hyperpigmentation develops in summer, when the sun is most intense.
To avoid hyperpigmentation, your first course of action is to stay out of the sun. Melasma will remain as long as you continue to expose yourself to the sun. If you need to go outdoors, make sure that you apply broad spectrum sunblock with SPF 30 or higher. Remember, sunblock should be applied all year round, not just in summer.
It usually disappears after giving birth
Melasma or chloasma affects 70% of pregnant women. It is so common, most people know it as the mask of pregnancy. Don’t be alarmed if you get dark patches on your skin. The dark blotches should gradually fade as your hormone levels return to normal. In most cases, they usually fade within one to three months after you have given birth.
As mentioned, melasma can worsen with sun exposure. If you’re experiencing a summer pregnancy, it can penetrate cells in the skin’s deeper layers. The skin pigmentation may return with subsequent pregnancies.
Birth control pills can cause hyperpigmentation
For many women, birth control is a miracle pill that takes care of life’s little annoyances - preventing pregnancy, reducing PMS symptoms, lessening heavy periods, and clearing up acne and excess oil. But it’s not all good. Did you know that women who take birth control pills are more prone to hyperpigmentation?
Birth control pills stimulate the melanocyte stimulating hormone. This hormone triggers the production of melanin, which causes dark patches. If you think your contraceptive is compromising your skin, you may want to change your pill or explore alternative birth control methods.
At Skin Perfection Aesthetics we have a number of treatments designed to help with melasma including facials, chemical peels and products to protect your skin from getting discolored. Give us a call or send us an email to learn more about treatments we offer for this condition!