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Learn how can you get rid of the dark pigment known “The Veil of Pregnancy” or Melasma!
Managing dark pigment of the face or Melasma with non-surgical treatments.
Why choose Dr. Shah to treat your Melasma?
With the decades of experience and the highest level of training in cosmetic Plastic Surgery, Dr. Shah specializes in both surgical and nonsurgical treatments for cosmetic facial rejuvenation. When you are trying to solve a difficult problem like Melasma, it is critical that your doctor has access to the latest technology, information and experience to be able to deliver consistent results. Find out what a difference this can make in managing your Melasma?
What causes Melasma or “The Veil of Pregnancy?”
Melasma, commonly referred to as the “Mask or Veil of Pregnancy,” is a skin condition that results in tan or brown patches of hyperpigmentation of the upper cheeks, nose, lips and forehead. It can occur during pregnancy, while on hormone replacement therapy/contraceptives or as a reaction to medications or cosmetics. Melanocytes, pigment producing cells in the skin, are stimulated by estrogen and progesterone to produce pigment in response to sun exposure. Less commonly, men can also develop Melasma. The condition occasionally improves after pregnancy in women. There are two primary forms of Melasma, epidermal and dermal. The epidermal form of Melasma is more superficial in the skin, can be diagnosed with special lighting, and is more responsive to treatment. The dermal form of Melasma is deeper in the skin and more resistant to treatment.
How is Melasma treated?
The management of Melasma includes preventive measures such as limiting sun exposure from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., wearing a wide brimmed hat, and applying sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater. Sunscreen requires re-application every 3-4 hours or sooner if you are sweating or swimming. Your sunscreen should include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone (parsol 1789) to block both UVA and UVB rays. Corrective measures include using bleaching creams such as hydroquinone, arbutase, azaleic acid or kojic acid. Tretinoin, chemical peels and microdermabrasion can help with exfoliation. Combination medicines, such as Triluma®, which includes tretinoin, hydroquinone and a steroid, can be convenient and effective. Prescription strength skin care systems such as Obagi Nuderm® can also be helpful in some patients.
Can Lasers be used to help manage Melasma?
Certain types of lasers such as Sciton’s ProFractional Erbium, MicroLaser Peel, or Broad Band Light can be effective in some forms of Melasma but they can also worsen the condition in others. More superficial forms of epidermal melasma are amenable to treatment with lasers in conjunction with skin care products. The deeper the melasma, the harder it is to treat with either skin care or lasers. Due to cost considerations and these risk factors Lasers or Light treatments are not usually the first line of treatment for this condition.
What can I do if I have the deeper form of Melasma?
If conservative topical measures are not effective, then more definitive treatment may be required such as pigment removing chemical peels such as the Melanage® Peel. This peel combines tretinoin and arbutase to synergistically clear existing pigment and suppress pigment producing cells. It is typically followed by a maintenance cream of similar ingredients at a lower dose and the preventive measures listed above. While Melasma is a vexing, chronic condition without a cure, it can be effectively managed with an organized approach to skin care. If you stop your skin care or abuse your skin with too much sun exposure, your melasma is sure to return! Take a few sensible precautions after your treatment and you can continue to enjoy clear, pigment free skin!
For additional information about managing Melasma, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org