Melasma aka. Pregnacy Mask
Melasma is a chronic skin condition characterized by patchy, often symmetrical discolouration on the face – particularly cheeks, forehead and chin. While not completely understood, triggering factors can include skin trauma, pregnancy, fluctuating hormones, photo-sensitizing drugs, some cosmetics, thyroid, drug allergies, and inflammation.
Also known as pregnancy mask, melasma is most often linked to pregnancy. While stress and thyroid disease have also been identified as a possible contributor, external triggers such as heat, electrolysis, laser, and other skin traumas can exacerbate the condition, with the biggest trigger being the sun.
The best approach to treating melasma is to begin with a consultation by a trained professional – the wrong approach to treating this problem, can actually make melasma much worse.
1) Pre-treat the area by suppressing the melanocyte activity – ingredients and protocols to be discussed with your melasma treatment provider.
2) Incorporate exfoliation that is matched with your skin type – this can include in spa exfoliation treatments or exfoliants used at home.
3) Professional treatments that encourage cellular repair, turnover, and restoration. Options can include Corrective facials, Spectra Carbon Laser Peels, Micro-Needling, Fraxel Laser, and Chemical Peels.
What is critical is that you understand the benefits and risks of each option.
Melasma skincare 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 patients 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 source.
● 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 with 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 sun for an extended period or swimming.)
Other Treatment Options
● 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 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, Pregnancy Mask & Deep Pigmentation
These treatments lighten the skin and minimize the appearance of 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 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.
● 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.