Melasma Treatment London
Melasma is a common skin condition characterised by the appearance of brown or gray-brown patches on the face, primarily on the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, and upper lip. Melasma primarily affects women, but men can also develop this condition. Melasma is a result of excessive pigmentation in the skin and is often associated with hormonal changes, particularly during pregnancy. On this page, we will explore melasma in detail, its causes, and how chemical peels can be used as a treatment option.
Melasma and Pregnancy
Melasma commonly occurs during pregnancy, and it is referred to as “chloasma” or the “mask of pregnancy” when it is related to hormonal changes. Pregnant women experience an increase in hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, which can stimulate the overproduction of melanin (skin pigment). This leads to the development of dark patches on the face. Melasma during pregnancy usually fades after delivery, but it can persist in some cases.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a chronic skin condition that affects the pigmentation of the skin. It is more prevalent in individuals with darker skin tones, including people of Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern descent. The exact mechanisms behind melasma development are not fully understood, but several factors contribute to its occurrence.
Causes of Melasma
Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, such as those experienced during pregnancy or while taking hormonal medications, can trigger melasma.
Sun Exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun stimulate the production of melanin, leading to melasma development. Sun exposure can worsen existing melasma patches.
Genetic Predisposition: There is evidence to suggest that genetics play a role in the development of melasma. If someone in your family has melasma, you may have a higher risk of developing it as well.
Other Triggers: Certain medications, cosmetics, and skincare products that irritate the skin may contribute to the onset of melasma.
The best treatment for Melasma in Dr Bhavjit’s opinion is Skincare at home and Sunscreen. Skincare that treats hyperpigmentation due to melasma have active ingredients that stop or decrease the production of melanin and help in achieving even skin tone.
Chemical peels can be done in clinic and are an effective treatment option for melasma, particularly when used in combination with other therapies and skincare at home. Chemical peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, which causes the top layer to peel off, revealing fresh, evenly pigmented skin underneath. This process helps to reduce the appearance of melasma patches.
Chemical peels can be categorized into three types based on their depth:
- Superficial Peels: These peels target the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis) and are milder in nature. They involve the use of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs).
- Medium Peels: These peels penetrate deeper into the skin, reaching the middle layer (dermis). They typically use trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or a combination of acids.
- Deep Peels: Deep peels reach the lower layers of the skin and Dr Bhavjit Kaur does not recommend this for Melasma, specially in skin of colour or melanin rich skin.
Chemical peels work by exfoliating the skin and reducing pigmentation irregularities. They stimulate the production of new skin cells and promote collagen synthesis, resulting in a rejuvenated appearance. However, it’s essential to note that chemical peels should be performed by trained professionals, as the depth and type of peel required depend on the severity of melasma and skin type.
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Dr Bhavjit Kaur
Dr Bhavjit Kaur is an Aesthetic Physician, with over 27 years of clinical experience. She is a postgraduate in Pathology, Biomedical sciences, DRCOG, DFSRH and Cosmetic Medicine.