Melasma Requires Management Skills
- Posted on: Aug 15 2019
Statistics suggest that as many as 200,000 people are diagnosed with melasma each year. Melasma is a dermatologic condition that has no symptoms other than hyperpigmentation. People with melasma develop discolored patches or spots on areas such as the upper lip, cheeks, nose, and chest. These spots result from an overreaction in melanocyte cells, those that add color to the skin, in response to sun exposure or hormonal changes.
No Cure, but Lots of Hope
Just because there is no cure for melasma does not mean that people with this condition have no hope. The key objective in treatment is learning to manage flare-ups. Often, the primary message for people with melasma is to avoid sun exposure. We understand why. However, there is also a need to go beyond the basics and nurture delicate skin on a broader scope. Some of the ways that melasma may be well-managed include:
- Vitamin C use. Vitamin C can be used topically and is a popular ingredient in many skin care products. Additionally, this nutrient is an excellent daily supplement to build strong skin from the inside out. This is because vitamin C fights free radicals, somewhat damaged cells that scavenge those that are healthy, resulting in premature aging. Time-released vitamin C supplements keep the body sustained with the necessary nutrient for resilience and also collagen production.
- For some people, prescribed topical medication is needed to treat flare-ups of melasma or prevent an aggravated reaction in the skin. Medical lightening agents such as kojic acid and hydroquinone are routinely used to fade existing dark spots and patches.
- Laser treatments. Laser treatments emit specific wavelengths of light in short pulses to address various skin conditions. The light that gets absorbed during a laser treatment may target the melanin that is causing discoloration. When melanin absorbs certain wavelengths of light, it breaks apart and gets eliminated more quickly than it would during standard cellular turnover.
Our doctors and staff understand the frustration that a chronic skin condition can cause. We provide the treatments you need to manage your melasma well. To learn more, schedule a consultation in our Midtown Manhattan office.
Posted in: Medical Dermatology