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Melasma (Uneven Skin tone)

Jul 3, 2022 | Conditions

Close up photo of a microneedling treatment done on the forehead of a patient

 What is Melasma?

Melasma, also called ‘chloasma’ and ‘pregnancy mask’, is a common skin condition of adults in which brown or greyish patches of pigmentation (colour) develop, usually on the face.

The name comes from melas, the Greek word for black, or cholas, from the word green-ish. It is more common in women, particularly during pregnancy (when up to 50% of women may be affected). Sometimes men may also be affected. Melasma is more common in people of colour and those who tan very quickly but can occur to anyone.

Melasma usually becomes more noticeable in the summer and improves during the winter months. It is not an infection; therefore, it is not contagious, and it is not due to an allergy. It is not cancerous and will not develop into skin cancer.

Can melasma be cured?

No, at present there is no cure for melasma, but there are several treatment options that may improve the appearance. If melasma occurs during pregnancy, it may go away a few months after delivery and treatment may not be necessary – though it may come back during another pregnancy.

Hydroquinone and retinoid creams should be avoided in pregnancy as they could harm the foetus. Even if it is treated, melasma often returns after stopping the treatments.

How can melasma be treated?

Melasma treatments fall into the following categories and can be used together:

  • Avoiding known triggers, such as birth control pills and hormone therapy.
  • Avoiding the sun and using sun-blocking creams.
  • Skin lightening creams.
  • Procedures such as chemical peels, microneedling and laser therapy.
  • Skin camouflage.

Book your appointment 

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. 

How should I prepare for my treatment?

Before your appointment, it is advised to adhere to the following pre-treatment guidelines: 

  • Avoid sun exposure 2 weeks prior to your treatment
  • Avoid the use of active ingredients one week prior (such as retinoids, glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or kojic acid) 
  • Avoid abrasive scrubs or exfoliants for 2 weeks prior
  • Avoid cosmetic injections such as Botox, Dysport, or Filler 2 weeks prior 

To maximize results, we recommend discontinuing the following substances at least 3 days before your treatment: 

  • Isotretinoin / Accutane or Epuris
  • Aspirin / ASA
  • Ibuprofen / Advil
  • Naproxen / Aleve
  • Antibiotics
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Vitamin-E
  • Alcohol
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Green Tea extract
  • Omega 3- Fatty acids
Is there any downtime or aftercare?

Post-treatment, the area may feel like a sunburn with slight redness, tightness, dryness, and sensitivity to touch, which is considered normal healing. 

Peeling may occur 3-7 days after treatment, it is advised to not rub, scratch, or pick at the treated area. 

A follow-up appointment with your service provider is essential two weeks after your initial session.

After the appointment, refrain from touching, rubbing, or manipulating the injection areas unless instructed by your physician or nurse injector. Avoid exposure to extreme heat (sun, saunas, hot yoga, tanning beds) and strenuous activities for 2-3 days post-appointment. Refrain from applying makeup for at least 24 hours. Showers are permitted, but gently cleanse the area then pat dry. Do not rub with a towel or washcloth as the area is extremely delicate.

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