Melasma is a common skin condition, causing dark patches on the face, particularly on the cheeks. Long period of sun exposure, high heat exposure and hormonal events, are all the major causes of the melasma. it is an result of the body producing irregular pigment under the skin, Melanin. The condition generally appears in between men and women at the ages of 20 and 50, Although it isn’t harmful, it can cause embarrassment, distress and less self confidence. Melasma can be treated by a number of different methods.
There are a few topical treatments that have proven to be effective:
- Hydroquinone (which lightens the skin) is sometimes coupled with other effective chemicals such as Glycolic acid and Tretinoin (pure retinoic acid) to increase the affects. When all three are used together it is called “Triple cream” and may take 6-8 weeks to see results.
- Chemical peels: usually, a light Glycolic peel is used, but sometimes peels can contain Salicylic acid. A dermatologist can determine the correct strength to use based on your skin type and the severity of your melasma.
- Lasers: The Q-Switched ND Yag is commonly used for treating melasma. The laser will break down the size of the irregular pigment, caused melasma. When the size of the pigment is reduced, the body will be able to eliminate the pigment out of the body naturally. And when the pigment is broke down, it will be easier to be removed by combined with other treatments.
Even though there are effective treatments available, treatments can take several months to produce an effect.
You can actively take steps to prevent it by limiting sun exposure period, wearing SPF 50+ PA+++ sunscreen, and shielding your skin from UV rays. It is also recommended that you eliminate cosmetics, medications, and hygiene products that irritate your skin.
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