If you struggle with melasma, chances are you’ve been searching for treatments that actually work—but finding a safe, effective solution is easier said than done. The good news is that new melasma treatment options are helping individuals improve the appearance of their skin. This blog article provides a brief overview of melasma, highlights the best ways to improve on it, and shares information on who makes a good candidate for treatment.
What is melasma and who does it impact?
Melasma is a common pigmentation disorder that causes brown or gray patches to appear on the skin, most often on the face. Though both men and women experience melasma, it is far more likely to occur in women. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, only 10 percent of people with melasma are men.
Along with occurring more frequently in women, melasma is also more common in people with darker skin, such as those of African, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Hispanic descent. Though the cause is not completely known, melasma likely occurs as a result of hyperactive pigment cells producing too much color. Melasma is frequently triggered by sun exposure and hormonal changes.
Because a change in hormones is a common trigger, pregnant women often get melasma. As such, melasma is sometimes referred to ask “the mask of pregnancy.” The condition is not painful and technically doesn’t pose any health risks, but it can cause emotional distress for those who are afflicted.
What is the best melasma treatment?
In many cases, melasma is stubborn and difficult to treat. If a person has melasma, they can try to avoid triggers by limiting sun exposure and using sunscreen. Certain medications such as birth control and hormone replacement pills can be a trigger, so discontinuing use will also help with treating the condition.
With that said, the best way to truly treat melasma is with a new chemical peel called the melanage minipeel. The melanage minipeel solution is made with weak acids and other natural ingredients that do not burn or injure the skin. The solution is also free of the bleaching agent hydroquinone, which is commonly used to treat melasma but has recently been banned in European countries because long-term use has been linked to liver damage. A melanage peel allows patients to lighten their skin without facing potential risk factors as a result of treatment.
Some patients report experiencing a mild tingling sensation during the treatment; however, overall, it is virtually painless. After the melanage peel solution is applied in-office, patients leave with a strict (but easy-to-follow) at-home regimen that involves the use of several melanage treatments. This regimen consists of a cleanser, two moisturizers, sunscreen, and a night cream, and patients are given detailed instructions on how to use the products to achieve ideal results.
Most patients experience some peeling and flaking following the treatment, which is a normal and expected result of a chemical peel. Most patients will begin seeing results around one week following the melanage peel, but the final results take around 30-45 days to show up. Once the cream treatment is finished, patients will see final results. Some patients might need more than one treatment to see an improvement, whereas others might be satisfied with the results from one treatment. It’s also important to keep in mind that melanage peel is not a cure for melasma, but rather an effective treatment approach.
Who is a good candidate for melanage?
If you have melasma and you’re searching for treatment options, then melanage might be just what you’re looking for. Almost everyone is considered a good candidate for melanage because it is safe for all skin types and has no associated risks. With that said, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, patients going through chemotherapy, and anyone on Accutane is not a potential candidate.
Treating melasma may not be easy, but with the right approach, it is far from impossible. The best way to determine whether or not a melanage peel is a good fit for you is to consult with an experienced aesthetician who can evaluate your unique situation and answer any questions you have.