Causes and Treatment of Melasma and Uneven Skin Color

Jun 25, 2022 | Conditions, Dr. Lana Wicentovich

Causes & Treatment for Uneven Skin Colour

When it comes to skin, many people look towards maintaining an even and glowing complexion. Unfortunately, melasma is a common condition that can cause brown patches across the face and other sun exposed areas.

For some people, this can effect their emotional well-being and impact their social interaction. 

What is melasma?

Melasma is a chronic condition.  It is a pigmentation disorder causing symmetrical blotchy brown or brown-grey patches on the skin. These patches are most commonly found on the face, particularly the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, upper lip and chin, but other areas that are exposed to sun can also be affected (arms and neck).

Some melasma effects pigmentation in the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin), while other times it effects the dermis deeper down. Some people have a mixed type, affecting both the dermal and epidermal layers. When the deeper dermis is affected, it is more difficult to treat.


Eight triggers and risk factors to developing melasma:

  1. Women of reproductive age are more commonly affected than men.  Though, 10% of patients seeking treatment for melasma are men.   If you have relatives with melasma, there is an increased chance that you may develop it. People with darker skin tones are more affected by melasma.
  2. Sun exposure and damage to the skin by sun is the biggest trigger for melasma. The good news is that this is also the most avoidable risk factor.
  3. Pregnancy can trigger melasma.  In this context, it is known as cholasma (the mask of pregnancy).  This is because estrogen and progesterone (hormones involved with reproduction) influence pigment-producing cells in the body. In this situation, the pigmentation often fades a few months after delivery.
  4. Just like in pregnancy, hormones taken by a patient can induce melasma.  Medications that commonly contain estrogen and progesterone include the oral contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy, and interuterine devices.
  5. Certain non-hormone based medications may trigger melasma.  These include some new cancer therapies and anti-epileptic medications.
  6. Cosmetics can trigger melasma, so people need to be careful.  Certain soaps, deodorant soaps and cosmetics can cause a phototoxic reaction that triggers melasma.
  7. Thyroid disorders may trigger melasma.
  8. For some individuals facial waxing can cause skin inflammation, which can trigger melasma. 

Two treatments for melasma: 

Prevent Pigment Gain

The most important thing that can be done to prevent and help melasma is sun protection.  Wear sunscreen everyday containing at least SPF 30.  Reapply every 2 hours when out in the sun.  It’s a good idea to wear make up that contains sunscreen.

Mineral makeup is a great option.  It provides excellent camouflage to existing melasma, and because it contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, it provides additional sun protection. 

Promote Pigment Loss

1. Topical Therapies

Preparations that inhibit melanin productions (the cells that produce skin pigment) or skin lightening agents.  Some of these products can be found at the drug store, but physicians can prescribe these in higher more effective concentrations if the over-the-counter preparations are not providing benefit.  It is important to be monitored by a physician as some of these products can cause an irritation to the skin.

In patients with sensitive skin, this could cause new post-inflammatory pigmentation problems.

  • hydroquinone
  • azelic acid (safe for use in pregnancy)
  • Kojic acid
  • Vitamin C
2. Other topical therapies
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Soybean extracts
3. Agents that induce peeling of the epidermis.

These agents are more effective when the melasma is more superficial in the epidermis. Treatments include:

  • Topical retinoids such as tretinoin (do not use in pregnancy)
  • Topical alpha hydroxyl acid

The most successful topical method is using these therapies in combinations under the guidance of a physician.  Many people will experience improvement using a cream that combines hydroquinone, tretinoin and moderate potency topical steroids.

4. Physical Methods
  • Chemical Peels
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser and light therapies under the care of a skin specialist

In summary, there are many options to treat uneven skin tone.

At Stratica, we emphasize a rejuvenated and confident you. We want to find a personalized approach to your skin goals and emphasize your desired results. Book your free consultation today to discuss with one of our expert providers to learn how filler treatments fit into your aesthetic goals. 

Women aren’t the only ones who can benefit from Botox injections; men too can look young thanks to this anti-aging treatment! More men are turning to Botox to smooth wrinkles, rejuvenate their skin, and enhance their overall look.

This Father’s Day, why not treat yourself or the special dad in your life to the benefits of Botox?

To offer more insight into the world of men’s botox, we will be sharing the most popular places that men opt to get Botox and the benefits it offers:

  1. Forehead Lines

The forehead is one of the most noticeable areas where wrinkles can form due to facial expressions and aging.With Men’s Botox, horizontal lines on the forehead are effectively reduced, giving the face a smoother and more relaxed appearance. The treatment is often chosen by men who wish to look refreshed and reduce signs of aging and stress. 

  1. Frown Lines (Glabellar Lines)

Frown lines, or the “11s” between the eyebrows, can make men look angry or stressed even when they’re not. Men’s Botox injections in this area can soften these lines, resulting in a more approachable and calm appearance.

  1. Crow’s Feet

Crow’s feet, the fine lines that appear at the corners of the eyes, are another common concern. These lines are often caused by smiling, squinting, and sun exposure. Botox can effectively minimize these wrinkles, providing a youthful and rejuvenated look around the eyes. Men appreciate how this subtle change can enhance their overall facial appearance. 

  1. Neck Bands

Aging can also affect the neck, leading to the development of vertical neck bands or platysmal bands. Botox injections in this area can relax the muscles, reducing the appearance of these bands and giving the neck a smoother and more youthful look. This treatment is ideal for men who want to address signs of aging beyond their face. 

  1. Jawline and Chin

Botox can also be used to contour the jawline and reduce the appearance of a prominent or square jaw. This is achieved by relaxing the masseter muscles, which can create a more refined and slimmer jawline. Additionally, Botox can smooth out dimpling in the chin, providing a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing profile. 

Benefits of Men’s Botox

Botox offers numerous benefits for men looking to enhance their appearance: 

  1. Youthful Look: Reduces wrinkles and fine lines, helping men look younger and more vibrant. 
  2. Boosted Confidence: A refreshed appearance can enhance self-esteem and confidence in personal and professional settings. 
  3. Non-Invasive: Botox is a minimally invasive procedure with no downtime, making it convenient for busy schedules. 
  4. Quick Results: Improvements can be seen within a few days, with full results developing over a couple of weeks. 
  5. Preventative Care: Regular Botox treatments can prevent the formation of deeper wrinkles over time, maintaining a youthful appearance. 

This Father’s Day, why not treat yourself or the special dad in your life to the gift of confidence and rejuvenation with Botox treatments? At Stratica Dermatology, we understand the importance of looking and feeling your best at every age. That’s why we’re thrilled to celebrate Father’s Day with this exclusive “Bro-tox” promotion! 

For a limited time only, from now until June 30th, 2024, male-identifying clients can take advantage of our special savings on Botox treatments. Get Botox for just $8/unit and discover how this simple yet effective procedure can turn back the clock and restore a youthful, vibrant appearance. 

Botox isn’t just for women – men everywhere are embracing the benefits of this revolutionary treatment. Whether you want to smooth forehead lines, soften frown lines, or rejuvenate your overall look, Botox can help inject some swagger back into dad’s step. 

Schedule your Botox appointment today with Stratica Dermatology in Edmonton, and celebrate Father’s Day with a refreshed and revitalized appearance. Give yourself or the dad in your life the gift of youthful, radiant skin with Stratica Dermatology’s Father’s Day Brotox promotion! 

Let’s turn back the clock! Contact us now to book your consultation and take advantage of the Brotox Father’s Day special. Book your consultation here.  



The Brotox Special promotion offers a special rate on Botox treatments for men, available exclusively for male-identifying clients, in honour of Father’s Day. The promotional price is $8 per unit of Botox. To qualify for this promotion, a consultation for the Botox treatment must be booked by June 30th, 2024, and all consultations and treatment appointments must be scheduled and confirmed by 11:59 PM MST on June 30th, 2024. The promotional price is valid until June 30th, 2024, 11:59 PM MST. Any consultations or bookings made after this date and time will not be eligible for the promotional rate. The promotional rate applies to the Botox units administered during the treatment as prescribed by the consulting professional. If a consultation or treatment appointment is canceled or rescheduled beyond the promotion end date, the client may forfeit the promotional rate. This promotion cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts, or promotions. By participating in this promotion, clients agree to abide by these terms and conditions. Results from Botox treatments may vary based on individual conditions and other factors. Clients are encouraged to discuss any concerns and medical conditions with the consulting professional before proceeding with the treatment. 

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