Melasma & Freckles Treatment
Melasma and freckles are two common skin conditions that affect the appearance of the skin. They are both caused by an increase in melanin production, the pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes. Although melasma and freckles are harmless, they can be unsightly and can cause a loss of confidence in some people. There are various treatments available to reduce the appearance of melasma and freckles, ranging from over-the-counter creams to medical procedures.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a skin condition that causes brown or gray patches on the face, especially on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and upper lip. It is most commonly seen in women, especially during pregnancy and in those taking hormonal contraceptives. The exact cause of melasma is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to hormonal changes, sun exposure, and genetics.
Common Signs of Melasma
Brownish-gray spots on the face are often a sign of melasma. Most of the time, these spots show up on:
- Bridge the nose
- Above upper lip
- Rarely on the forearms or neck
What Causes Melasma?
Melasma is a skin condition that has no clear cause. It most likely happens when the cells in the skin that make color make too much color. It can happen to anyone, but young women are more likely to get it. The hormones estrogen and progesterone are often linked to the condition. Melasma is more likely to happen to you if you are a woman who:
- Uses Birth Control Pills
- Takes hormone replacement therapy
- Is pregnant. Melasma often shows up in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. It’s called the “mask of pregnancy” sometimes.
You can also get this condition from being in the sun for too long and too often. People who live in tropical climates often get melasma. Individuals with darker skin complexion also have a higher chance of getting it.
Treatments for Melasma
Topical Treatments for Melasma
Topical treatments are the first line of treatment for melasma. Over-the-counter creams containing hydroquinone, a skin-lightening ingredient, can be used to reduce the appearance of melasma. However, it is important to use hydroquinone with caution, as it can cause skin irritation and sensitivity.
Prescription creams containing a combination of hydroquinone, retinoids, and corticosteroids are also available. These creams can be more effective than over-the-counter creams, but they also come with a higher risk of side effects, such as skin irritation and redness.
Chemical Peels for Melasma
Chemical peels are another option for treating melasma. A chemical peel involves applying a chemical solution to the skin, which removes the top layer of skin and stimulates the growth of new skin cells. Chemical peels can improve the appearance of melasma by removing discolored skin cells and encouraging the growth of new, lighter skin cells.
Laser & Light Therapies for Melasma
Laser and light therapies, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) and fractional laser resurfacing, can also be used to treat melasma. These treatments use light energy to penetrate the skin and break down the excess melanin that causes melasma. Laser and light therapies can be more effective than topical treatments, but they also come with a higher risk of side effects, such as skin redness and pigmentation changes.
Am I a Candidate for Melasma Treatment?If you have patches of skin that aren’t the same color, skin irritation, or a lot of darkening, call our office right away to make an appointment with one of our skilled dermatologists. During your appointment, you will be able to talk to our dermatologists about how you are feeling. Then, we’ll look at your skin and come up with a plan to help your melasma get better.
What are Freckles?
Freckles are small, brown or tan spots that appear on the skin, often as a result of sun exposure. Freckles are caused by an increase in melanin production in response to UV exposure. They are most commonly seen on the face, arms, and legs.
Topical Treatments for Freckles
Topical treatments, such as hydroquinone-containing creams and prescription creams, can be used to reduce the appearance of freckles. However, as with melasma, it is important to use hydroquinone with caution to avoid skin irritation and sensitivity.
Chemical Peels for Freckles
Chemical peels can also be used to treat freckles by removing the top layer of skin and stimulating the growth of new, lighter skin cells.
Laser and Light Therapies for Freckles
Laser and light therapies, such as IPL and fractional laser resurfacing, can also be used to treat freckles. These treatments use light energy to penetrate the skin and break down the excess melanin that causes freckles.
Prevention of Melasma & Freckles
Regardless of the treatment used, it is important to take steps to prevent melasma and freckles from worsening. This includes avoiding sun exposure, wearing protective clothing, and applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Melasma and freckles Treatment in Cincinnati, Ohio
If you are concerned about your melasma or freckles, give us a call today to schedule your skin health appointment. Our expert dermatologists are here to help you on your journey to clearer and healthier skin. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.