Melasma Prevention & Treatment
Do you notice patchy brown spots on your cheeks, forehead, or upper lip? Does it appear worse with sunlight or heat? If so, you may have a chronic condition called melasma.
Melasma is due to melanocytes (pigment-making cells) producing too much melanin or color. Melasma is more common in women than men and appears more often in those with darker complexions. Several factors can trigger melasma:
- Sun exposure: When the skin is exposed to UV light the melanocytes are stimulated to produce more pigment. This is why melasma is worse or more noticeable in the summer.
- Hormone changes: Pregnancy is a very common time for melasma to appear. It can also appear in someone taking birth control pills or hormone replacements.
- Irritating skin care products: Anything that causes too much irritation can lead to inflammation and darkened pigment.
After melasma has been diagnosed by a dermatology provider, there are several different treatment options to prevent and lighten excessive pigment.
Since melasma is triggered by sunlight, the mainstay of any treatment plan is UV protection. This is best achieved by preventing sunlight from coming into contact with the skin by wearing a broad brimmed hat and sunglasses. Additionally, the use of a daily sunscreen is essential. The best type of sunscreen for melasma is a physical sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Physical sunscreens block UV rays unlike chemical sunscreens that absorb and break down UV rays. Twin Ports Dermatology has some great physical sunscreen options: EltaMD UV Pure, EltaMD UV Physical, Intellishade TruPhysical, and the entire Colorescience line.
*Individual results may vary
Twin Ports Dermatology offers same and next day appointments with our dermatology providers who are experienced with diagnosing melasma and can get you started on a prevention and treatment plan. Twin Ports Dermatology also has a medical spa staffed with estheticians who can develop an at home regimen and perform the in-office Mini Melanage Peel. Visit twinportsderm.com or call (218) 302-1000 to make your appointment!