Melasma and Chloasma
Melasma and Chloasma
Melasma or Chloasma is a common skin condition which usually affects adults. Melasma (Chloasma) forms patches of excess dark pigmentation which is mainly on the face. Pigmentation can be light brown, dark brown, yellowish in colour and usually forms a symmetrical pattern on the face. The pigmentation is not raised. Typical distribution pattens for Melasma on the face are usually the forehead, central face, cheeks or around the mouth.
Melasma most commonly affects women and often first presents itself during pregnancy. It is more common in women (though men can be affected) and people with darker skin types who live in sunny climates. Melasma or chloasma usually becomes more noticeable in the summer and improves during the winter months. It is not an infection, it is not contagious and it is not due to an allergy. It’s onset can be hormonal. Also, it is not cancerous and will not change into skin cancer.
What causes melasma (chloasma)?
The exact cause is not known, but several factors contribute. These include pregnancy, hormonal drugs such as the contraceptive pill, and very occasionally medical conditions affecting hormone levels. Some cosmetics, especially those containing perfume, can bring on melasma. There is research to suggest that it can be triggered by stress. Sunshine and the use of sun-beds usually worsen any tendency to melasma. It also displays an inherited tendancy, often being prevalent in several family members.
Melasma often occurs during pregnancy and this is often referred to as Chloasma. It will often clear within a few months after delivery without any treatment.The affected skin is not itchy or sore, but it is the cosmetic aspect of Melasma that affected people tend to find upsetting.
How we can help you reduce your Melasma or Chloasma?
Our skin care experts can help with Melasma and Chloasma in several ways.
- Advanced cosmetic procedures can be used to remove Melasma, Chloasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation
- Effective skin-lightening agents by Obagi and Medik8
- Chemical peels
We can offer advice on the following:
- Avoiding or minimising the effects from known trigger factors, such as the oral contraceptive pill or perfumed cosmetics, sun.
- Adopting appropriate sun avoidance measures and using sun-blocking creams.
With our help you can reduce or even eliminate hyper pigmentation and prevent recurrence.
Skin lightening products
We supply prescription treatments and non prescription treatments which can reduce the activity of pigment-forming cells in the skin. Hydroquinone is the most commonly used prescription treatment. Kojic Acid is also an effective skin lightener but this doesn’t need a prescription. Generally Kojic Acid works very well but Hydroquinone may be necessary in more extreme cases.
Azelaic acid and retinoid creams are mainly marketed to treat acne, but can also help Melasma by stabilising the melanin producing cells in the epidermis.
Chemical Peels, Micro-Dermabrasion, Laser-treatment
Chemical peels can improve Melasma and Chloasma. A chemical peel will remove cells of the epidermis which contain the excess pigment. A course of three peels is normally recommended.
Some types of laser also remove the outer layer of skin, whereas others specifically target the pigment-producing cells. At present, the success of laser treatment is variable and so we do not offer laser treatment for pigmentation.
Call us today for a consultation for your Melasma or Chloasma on 01962 809937. We are located in the heart of Winchester handy for major routes via M3.