Treating Skin Concerns: Melasma and Microdermabrasion
Melasma is a common skin condition that causes symmetrical patches and spots of skin darker than the sufferers natural skin tone to appear, usually on the face. The cheeks, forehead, chin and upper lip are most likely to be the affected areas. Less commonly, the discolouration may appear on the arms and neck, or other areas of the body. Melasma can show up as tan, brown, greyish brown, or bluish grey patches or freckles.
Causes and Risk Factors
Melasma disproportionately affects more women than men. Those who are darker skinned are more at risk of melasma than those with fair skin. Often, it appears during pregnancy, earning it the nickname the “mask of pregnancy”. It can also be triggered by taking medication, such as birth control pills. Sun exposure, stress and thyroid disease are also thought to be causes.
For some people, melasma goes away after pregnancy once the baby is delivered, or when stopping a medication. However, it is a skin condition that can last for years, or even a lifetime. Though it is harmless, some people may prefer to minimise the appearance, and choose to take steps to treat it.
Healthcare professionals can prescribe creams or topical steroids to help lighten the affected areas, however there is no guarantee that the melasma won’t come back. In some cases, it will not be affected by treatment at all. Wearing at least SPF 30 everyday is one of the best ways to minimise the risk of melasma coming back. Wearing protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face from the sun, and also using cover-up makeup are great day to day methods of living with melasma.
Melasma and Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is a fantastic treatment option for melasma, as the exfoliation can help to remove the top, superficial layer of skin. Throughout multiple treatments, improvements will be progressive as the exfoliation reaches deeper layers of skin to help remove unwanted pigmentation.