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What is Melasma?

What are Milia and how do I get rid of them?
July 16, 2019

Melasma is a common skin problem that causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face. 

Although the exact causes of melasma are unclear, common triggers include :

1. Hormones:

Hormones are the activation code for hypersensitive pigment cells making them the top trigger for melasma. Pregnancy and birth control medication add to the issue by putting them in overdrive.

2. Sun exposure:

Though not the main cause of melasma, UV exposure definitely makes it worse.

3. Inflammation:

Heat or harsh exfoliating can cause a melanin producing reaction

4. Waxing:

Trauma to the hair follicle can cause your skin to go in protection mode thus triggering melanin production.

5. Chemicals:

Exposure to certain chemicals found in cheap & non dermatological  sunscreens and cosmetics or skin care can trigger pigmentation. 

6 . Diet:

A folate deficiency could be promoting your excess pigmentation. 

If you have melasma, we recommend the following tips for achieving a more even skin tone : 

  1. Wear sunscreen daily: One of the most common treatments for melasma is sun protection. Since sunlight triggers melasma, it is important to wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days and after swimming or sweating. Choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more, and zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide to physically limit the effects of the sun’s rays on your skin. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and re-apply at least every two hours.
  2. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when you’re outside: Sunscreen alone may not give you the sun protection you need. Whenever possible, seek shade and wear protective clothing in addition to applying sunscreen.
  3. Vitamins: Get added protection from Vitamins E & C.
  4. Choose gentle yet effective skin care products: Be careful what you put on your skin as some products can irritate the skin and may worsen melasma. Ask your skin therapist for prescription-home care and professional treatments.
  5. Avoid waxing: Waxing may cause skin inflammation which can worsen melasma, so it’s important to avoid waxing areas of the body affected by the condition. A save alternative to waxing is threading.
  6. Diet: Bump up your intake of leafy greens, nuts, whole grains.

If your melasma does not go away, see a qualified skin specialist or dermatologist to discuss available treatments for melasma, such as prescription products/medications or in-office procedures.

Contact us for your free consultation and more information

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