Have you noticed that the skin on your face looks a little more “splotchy” than normal? If when you look in the mirror you see a seemingly random splattering of discolorations, you could be seeing the visible evidence of Melasma. Melasma is a type of acquired skin hyperpigmentation disorder that’s estimated to affect as many as five million Americans, the majority of which are women.
Sometimes the cause of Melasma is unknown and could be contributed to a number of factors, including genetics. However, more often than not, the occurrence of Melasma can be directly connected to sun exposure and hormonal changes. In fact, Melasma occurs so frequently in response to the hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy that it’s frequently dubbed the “mask of pregnancy”.
The fact that Melasma is so common doesn’t take away from how devastating it can be. For most people dealing with Melasma, the first question is almost always “what can be done about this?” To answer this question, let’s take a closer look at the treatment options available for mild to moderate cases of Melasma.
Can Melasma Be Cured at Home?
Often, individuals who are dealing with Melasma are interested in knowing if it’s necessary to consult a dermatologist for help treating their condition or if it’s something that they can manage on their own at home. The answer to this question is that there are very effective home treatments, but there are also a few things to consider before diving in head – or face – first.
The first consideration is the severity of your condition. Melasma typically presents itself as small patches of discolorations, ranging from light brown to almost greyish in color, and occur mostly on the forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. If your discolorations are what could be considered mild to moderate, then an over the counter Melasma topical treatment will likely be sufficient for your case.
However, if your Melasma is severe or extremely dark, it’s best to first start by consulting with a dermatologist. A qualified dermatologist can help determine if a prescription strength formula is more appropriate for your case, and what other complimentary treatments might improve your results.
Likewise, if you have any underlying health factors – for example, if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have extremely sensitive skin, it’s also best to consult with a dermatologist or physician as there are special considerations that need to be made in these cases.
Can Melasma Be Cured Permanently?
While Melasma can be treated, and in a sense reversed, keeping it away for good involves a combination of the right type of initial treatment and taking preventative measures to avoid possible triggers.
For example, Hydroquinone is one of the most effective treatments for reversing the appearance of Melasma. Over the counter strength preparations can contain Hydroquinone in concentrations of up to 2%. For most cases of Melasma, this strength is more than sufficient, especially if it’s a high quality product that’s been blended with high performing complimentary ingredients like Azelaic Acid and Vitamin C. These types of treatments work on a cellular level to halt the overproduction of melanin and eventually reverse Melasma. While it’s not possible to permanently cure Melasma, it is possible to at least somewhat reduce the chance of recurrence with the right treatment.
Now, let’s bring out the old “an ounce of prevention” advice. In some cases, the overproduction of melanin that occurs in Melasma is triggered by certain activities or factors. Knowing what these are and avoiding them when possible is key to reducing the chance of triggering a recurrence.
Obviously, there isn’t much that can be done about certain hormonal shifts, such as those that occur during pregnancy. Melasma that occurs during pregnancy almost always fades away slowly after birth, once hormone levels begin to regulate and return to normal. However, if you suspect that your Melasma might be due to hormonal changes caused by medications – such as hormonal contraceptives – it’s wise to talk to your health care provider about alternative solutions that meet your health care needs while reducing the occurrence of Melasma as a side effect.
Finally, let’s talk about the biggest Melasma trigger of all – beautiful, natural sunlight. To put it simply, areas where Melasma occur are more prone to damage from the sun. That quick 15 minute walk after lunch will suddenly require you to apply sunscreen to prevent Melasma from appearing or getting worse. Even just a few minutes of unprotected exposure can lead to an increase in melanin production.
This means that if you want to prevent Melasma, and avoid repeated treatments, prevention and protection from the sun are key. It’s time to get diligent about sunscreen use, and also try to stay cool as heat alone is also a suspected trigger.
Why Quality Matters
A quick search online will yield pages and pages of results for Melasma treatment, so how do you know which one is best? It’s all about quality and reputation. Look for products that contain 2% Hydroquinone for maximum effectiveness, but that are also formulated with other high quality ingredients like Azelaic Acid, Kojic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C. There’s no reason to let Hydroquinone take control of your skin and damage your self-esteem. Discover the renewed beauty of your skin with Hydroquinone for Melasma today.
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