Melasma | Discoloration

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Blemishes are dark marks or spots that result from injury to the skin and can last months to years. They are often unsightly and difficult to cover up. Pigmentation, also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and blemishes can occur after common injuries to the skin such as acne, rashes, eczema, or burns.

Pigmentation may also result from your family heritage in the form of age spots. Age spots are unsightly blemishes that arise on the face, neck, chest and arms as people age.

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Melasma | Discoloration

Blemishes are dark marks or spots that result from injury to the skin and can last months to years. They are often unsightly and difficult to cover up. Pigmentation, also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and blemishes can occur after common injuries to the skin such as acne, rashes, eczema, or burns.

Pigmentation may also result from your family heritage in the form of age spots. Age spots are unsightly blemishes that arise on the face, neck, chest and arms as people age.

Age spots are commonly found on the cheeks and under eye circles on the face. These age-related blemishes are also called lentigines. They are typically sharply defined, rounded, brown or black, flat patches of skin that may appear alone or in clusters. Find more information about age spots and how to treat them here.

Pigmentation may also present as a medical condition known as melasma. Melasma, also called chloasma or the mask of pregnancy, is a common skin problem most often seen in women and in darker skin tones. It can, however, present in men. It causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face, commonly on the forehead, bridge of the nose, cheeks, above the upper lip, and on the chin. Less commonly, it can appear on other sun-exposed parts of the body, such as the forearms and neck. There are many possible triggers for melasma.

Common Melasma Triggers Include:

Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment. Melasma often presents or worsens in summer because of the increase in UV light exposure. Melasma often recurs because even a small dose of sun can make melasma come back after it has been treated.

There is new evidence to show that infrared (IR) light or heat may contribute to the development of melasma. Indoor lights in the visible spectrum may also have some influence on melasma. It is, therefore, very important for patients wanting to improve their melasma to have a sunscreen they love and to apply it EVERY DAY, even indoors.

Pregnant women often get melasma. Birth control pills and hormone replacement medicine may also trigger melasma.

Skin care products and chemical peels that irritate the skin may worsen melasma and can induce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in those with sensitive skin.

Melasma is not curable.  It is a condition that dermatologists can often control and improve greatly, but not cure. Melasma requires constant maintenance, including proper sun protection and brightening skincare regimens.

Melasma and Pigmentation Treatment at Cenla Dermatology

Providers at Cenla Dermatology select medical-grade skincare and prescriptions tailored to each patient. We offer many safe and effective treatments for pigmentation issues.

Treating pigmentation requires a partnership with the patient and a dedication to sun protection and to safe sun practices. A series of treatments is necessary for clearance, and maintenance treatment is recommended. Strict sun protection and habitual skincare is critical to controlling melasma and pigmentation. Because heat and light may influence pigmentation, it is very important to our providers that patients find the RIGHT sun protection to wear EVERY DAY.

We offer a variety of medical-grade skincare options for fading and eliminating brown spots and uneven pigmentation. These treatments provide additional benefits to improve the appearance and texture of your skin, such as softening wrinkles and tightening the skin, removing redness and broken blood vessels, skin cancer and pre skin cancer treatments, and helping treat acne and rosacea. There are also prescription treatments for melasma including: retinoids, hydroquinone, and tranexamic acid (a prescription pill for melasma) which we can discuss at your visit. Often times, a combination approach is required to help best manage melasma.

Laser treatments, chemical peels, and other procedures for melasma must be considered with great care. While many lasers immediately improve the appearance of melasma, there also needs to be a long-term treatment plan in place to prevent its recurrence. At Cenla Dermatology, we select treatments carefully with the help and input of each patient to best treat their pigmentation issues.