Melasma is a skin condition that causes patches of hyperpigmentation or dark spots, primarily on the face. While men can experience melasma, the majority of cases occur in women, particularly during pregnancy, which is why the condition is often referred to as “the mask of pregnancy.” While hyperpigmentation isn’t a harmful condition, it can greatly impact one’s appearance and confidence. At Houston Skin, we specialize in the most effective treatments for unwanted pigmentation, using a variety of cutting-edge techniques.
Read below for more information about melasma, also known as chloasma, and our customized approach to restoring our patient’s appearance.
Reliable Hyperpigmentation Treatment with Houston Skin
When patients come to Houston Skin to treat the brown to gray patches of pigmentation on their skin, we offer a personalized treatment plan in order to meet each patient’s unique needs. Our skilled practitioners have extensive background and experience treating complex dermatologic conditions and will create a treatment plan tailored for all skin types.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a cosmetic condition that appears as uneven, dark patches of brown to gray-brown pigmentation, most commonly in the following areas:
- Upper lip
Although melasma most frequently occurs on the face, it can also occur on other sun-exposed areas of the body. This form of hyperpigmentation is most commonly associated with pregnancy, birth control pills or sun exposure. While hyperpigmentation presents as a cosmetic condition, it is usually not an indication of an additional, more serious illness.
There are many safe and effective treatments for patients with melasma including topical medications, peels, and lasers, which can be used alone or in combination to help even out the skin tone. Although there is not a way to cure hyperpigmentation completely, our experienced and board-certified dermatologists can provide effective skin-restoring treatments necessary to reduce the skin discoloration.
Even though the exact causes of melasma are unclear, the most common triggers include sun exposure, pregnancy, and birth control pills. It’s possible for hyperpigmentation to appear anywhere on the face and body that receives sun exposure. Sunlight can not only trigger melasma in some patients, but it can also darken the discolored patches, making it more difficult to treat.
Common factors that can increase a person’s risk of this skin condition include:
- Genetics (People with darker skin are more likely to develop melasma than those with light skin.)
- Hormonal fluctuations (such as those that occur with pregnancy)
- Hormonal birth control pills
A Variety of Professional Melasma Treatment Options
Rather than a cookie-cutter plan for all melasma patients, our skin specialists take the time to understand the exact nature and degree of your hyperpigmentation in order to form a customized treatment regimen that will give you the most immediate and effective long-term improvement. Using state-of-the-art procedures, our skin care practitioners have a proven record of excellence. If you’re ready to feel great about your skin, Houston Skin can help create a successful treatment plan that includes one or more of the following:
One of the most popular and effective skin treatments to improve pigment issues is a medical-grade chemical peel. Chemical peels help renew the skin, providing an even texture and tone.
At Houston Skin, we utilize the newest, most advanced lasers available to target excess pigmentation. Certain lasers can exacerbate melasma, so careful selection of the appropriate laser treatment is imperative to yield desired results. Halo is a hybrid laser that can be precisely targeted to the correct depth to remove dark spots and damaged skin. It can be used on all skin types to address any pigmentation concern.
Topical treatments are a key component in a well-rounded treatment regimen for melasma. Hydroquinone, tretinoin, and corticosteroids can be used alone or in combination to help with skin lightening. While some lightening products are available over-the-counter, they contain less active ingredients than a product prescribed by your dermatologist or skin care specialist at Houston Skin.