One of the most stubborn and mysterious conditions seen by dermatologists is melasma, an abnormal pigmentation on the face. It occurs most often in women who are pregnant or on birth control pills, but 10% of cases do occur in men. It is also known as “the mask of pregnancy”. It is characterized by a symmetrical pattern of irregular brown patches usually seen on the face, most commonly on the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, and chin.
We don’t know what causes melasma, but many different factors have been implicated. While genetics plays a role, hormonal activity seems to be the main cause. Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, or hormone treatments can all be responsible for hormone fluctuation.
Along with a gentle daily skin care regimen, the addition of professional treatments can improve the outcome. Aside from these topical agents, a series of chemical peels can help the corrective products to penetrate deeper into the skin to decrease the unwanted pigmentation.
Another treatment that has shown added benefits in melasma treament is the SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion™, used to deliver Lumixyl®. Patients are very happy with the results; more information on this procedure can be found on our SilkPeel page.
Melasma can be difficult to control. A combination of year round daily care with ingredients that inhibit pigmentation, broad spectrum sun protection and periodic chemical peels can provide immense improvement of this difficult and often stubborn condition.