What is Melasma?
Melasma is a common skin condition with 200,000 new cases diagnosed in the USA every year. It is characterized by dark patches on the face. These areas can be small in size or small in number. Or they can involve large continuous areas of skin. They do not cause any symptoms other than their unsightly appearance. The areas of the face that are involved are the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, above the upper lip, and on the chin. Some people will develop melasma on other areas of the body, especially if those areas are exposed to the sun. But for most people it is the dark patches on their face that is most bothersome.
Melasma is much more common in women than men. It is also more common in people with dark skin color. Sun exposure can cause an exacerbation of melasma. The thinking is that sun stimulates melanocytes – the cells that cause pigment in the skin. Though this is normal and occurs in everybody, in people with melasma the stimulation of melanocytes is exaggerated, leading to very dark areas on the face.
It is also thought that melasma is related to female hormonal changes. Thus, it is brought on in some women by hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, and pregnancy. It is so common in pregnancy that it has its own name – the mask of pregnancy.
Melasma waxes and wanes. That is, it spontaneously goes through periods of time when it is more severe and periods of time when it is less noticeable.
Melasma is not a condition that can be cured. But, the dark pigment can markedly improve. You will need to stay on a maintenance regimen to keep your face looking fresh. The melasma treatments that we have available are:
- PRP Facial (Platelet Rich Plasma) – Your plasma is chock full of factors that cause the growth of new skin. The plasma is applied in one easy session that takes a half hour.
- Chemical Peel – A solution of one of a variety of chemicals is applied to your skin. The chemical causes the top layer of skin to peel off. When the skin grows back it returns without the dark pigment of melasma.
- Microdermabrasion – A wand is passed over your skin that uses diamond crystals to strip off the top layer of your skin, revealing skin that isn’t dark.
- IPL Photofacial (Intense Pulsed Light) – An intense light is produced that is applied in a series of gentle pulses over the face. The light penetrates the skin and is absorbed by and heats the dark areas causing them to disappear.
- Lytera – This skin brightening complex is a cream that you apply to your face daily. It helps to lighten areas of discoloration. It works best when used in combination with other treatments.
With all of these choices, it’s impossible for you to know which melasma treatment is the best one for you. Sometimes, we may have to try different treatments to see what works best for you. So, make an appointment with one of our aesthetic practitioners at Vivesse Med Spa for a consult. You’ll be on your way to clear skin. Just call 860-761-6666
About Vivesse Med Spa
Vivesse is a medical spa in Bloomfield, Connecticut dedicated to bringing the most up-to-date cosmetic medical spa treatments to the Hartford area including the communities of Avon, West Hartford, Simsbury, South Windsor, Hartford & Manchester. We offer treatments for a variety of skin conditions including age spots, rosacea, melasma, wrinkles, acne scars, double chin, dark circles and sun damage. We are one of the only skin care facilities in Hartford to offer Plasma Facial with PRP (Microneedling). Vivesse is led by Dr. Lori Greenwald, who is recognized as one of the best surgeons in the country by both Money Magazine and the Consumer’s Research Council of America and is recognized as an Alma Laser Luminary for laser therapy.