Melasma aka Pregnancy Mask is a skin condition that particularly affects women. It is characterized by discolouration & hyperpigmentation patches, often symmetrical, on the face, particularly on the cheeks, forehead and chin. While not completely understood, triggering factors can include skin trauma, pregnancy, fluctuating hormones, photo-sensitizing drugs, hormone replacement therapy, some cosmetics, thyroid, drug allergies and inflammation. It can affect the self-confidence of women.
Most often linked to pregnancy, stress, and thyroid disease, these conditions have also been identified as a possible contributors to melasma along with external triggers such as heat, electrolysis, laser and other skin traumas. While any of these can exacerbate the hyperpigmentation from melasma, the most common trigger is the sun.
Melasma Treatment Options can include:
● Exfoliating Facial Acids
Ingredients & products that shed off the top layer of the skin can help pave the way for new skin cells to replace the old ones. This important process is crucial for melasma removal. It evens out your skin tone and makes your skin smoother. Examples of face acids are azelaic acid, salicylic acid, kojic acid, glycolic, Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid), and alpha hydroxy acids (e.g. lactic, malic, or tartaric acids).
● Chemical peels for Melasma & Pigmentation-
Melasma chemical peels are a popular modality of treatment for patients with dark skin pigmentation. These treatments lighten the skin and minimize the appearance of melasma and hyperpigmentation by eliminating thin layers of damaged skin cells. Medical grade peels are available in deeper strengths and will target varying depths of damage while addressing pre and post-synthesis of tyrosinase. Avoid over the counter peels, especially if you have melasma, opting for science-based treatments that also address the root cause of patchy discolouration.
● Spectra Carbon Laser Toning
Also known as the Hollywood Facial this effective laser treatment is not painful and is very safe, for all skin types, especially when pre-treated with products that will suppress / “turn the tap off” on the production of melanin. The key to laser toning lies in a carbon facial mask that is highly attracted to the laser light, resulting in tiny micro-explosions that dislodge debris and excessive buildup of discoloured cells. The result is brighter, clarified skin.
Fraxel refers to pixel technology where the laser only treats a “fraction” of the skin allowing for less downtime and quicker recovery. This resurfacing device works by directing tiny micro-columns of energy to the treatment area addressing a number of concerns. Patients can benefit from Fraxel to improve texture & tone, shrink pore size, brighten dullness of skin and fade melasma.
● Silk Peel
This non-invasive dermal infusion treatment can be an effective & supportive treatment to help lighten and clarify the appearance of the skin. Silk Peel simultaneously exfoliates while infusing actives such as Vitamin C or Peptides that help reduce discolouration, restore hydration and rebalance for a brighter complexion.
Microdermabrasion is considered an effective treatment for melasma if it is used together with topical and/or oral medications.
What is the Cost of a Melasma Treatment in Toronto?
The cost of treating melasma can vary as pricing is dependent on which device we use. It is always best to discuss the treatment plan that will give you the best outcome… and from there we can be more precise re cost. As a starting point, treatments for melasma begin at $165.00.
Chemical Peels to help improve Melasma – Me-Line®
This treatment option describes the process of using peeling agents to remove layers of dead skin cells.
The Me-Line process includes pre-peel preparation, peel and then a programme of aftercare to be used at home. Homecare products are formulated to continue the peeling process in a safe and progressive manner, improving the visible effects of melasma, while controlling further pigmentation from occurring. One can expect
- Excellent results related to hyperpigmentation and melasma aka pregnancy mask.
- Excellent results for issues related to aged skin, including fine lines & wrinkles, sun damage, brown spot & age spots.
- Visible results with acne-prone skin, large pores and post inflammatory pigmentation.
- Excellent results with melano-hematic pigmentation.
The best approach to treating melasma is to begin with a consultation whereby your custom treatment plan will be described in detail.
1) Pre-treat the area by suppressing melanocyte activity to prevent further damage from occurring (ingredients and protocols to be discussed with your melasma treatment provider).
2) Possible in-clinic treatments matched with your skin type – this could include exfoliants used at home.
3) In-clinic treatments could include: Corrective facials, Spectra Carbon Laser Peels, Micro Needling, Fraxel Laser.
What is critical is that you understand the benefits and risks with each option.
The best melasma skincare treatment that includes ingredients with tyrosinase inhibitors and natural brightening agents (resveratrol, kojic acid, arginine and arbutin) are most effective – especially if custom blended to match the patient’s overall skin condition.
Avoid Melasma Triggers:
Before stepping out into the sun, be sure to apply sunscreen SPF 45+ – this is critical in preventing further damage at the source. Exposure to the sun can trigger melasma so you should:
- Choose a sunscreen that offers UVA & UVB protection with an SPF 45 to 50.
- If you are athletic or a swimmer, find a sunscreen that is waterproof.
- Find a product you like wearing, otherwise, you will not use it.
If you suffer from melasma it is a good habit to apply sunscreen every morning, to ensure you aren’t caught off guard. (Reapplying every two hours if you’re in the sun for an extended period or swimming.)
Heat can also be a trigger for melasma as it increases vasodilation. While melasma is typically thought of as a pigment issue, inflammation from heat and vascular dilation can also overstimulate melanocyte pigment production.
Melasma can be treated. Entrust Call Clarity Medspa and Laser clinic with your treatment Call us at (416) 960-2222 to book an appointment for a consultation.