What is Melasma?
Melasma is a common pigmentary disorder of the skin that is seen more commonly in women. It appears as brown / brown grey patches on the face, most often seen on the cheeks, nose bridge and forehead.
How can I tell if my pigmentation is Melasma?
Based on appearance, there are some telling signs that can differentiate Melasma from the usual form of hyperpigmentation.
Melasma tends to appear as irregular patches / blotches and it may be symmetrical i.e appears on both sides of the cheeks / forehead / nosebridge. Hyperpigmentation on the other hand tend to be smaller in size, circular and well defined.
Factors that worsen melasma
- Sun Exposure
- Hormonal Changes – Consumption of oral contraceptive pills
- Pregnancy (sometimes known as chloasma – the mask of pregnancy)
Why is Melasma more difficult to treat?
Hormonal influences play a significant role in melasma and it is one of the reasons why treating melasma is challenging as it can be difficult to remove such an instigating factor.
Often times, melasma can also recur even after successful treatment when exposed to one of the above factors such as prolonged exposure to sun during a beach holiday.
When treated incorrectly with Lasers, Melasma may sometimes worsen or even develop post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Some studies have reported that Melasma may relapse after stopping treatment.
Prescription only combination creams that contain ingredients such as Hydroquinone, Tretinoin, Arbutin, Tranexamic acid and Butylresorcinol are useful and effective in the treatment of melasma.
Dr Edwin has formulated the Advanced Skin Lightener and Pigment Focus Cream which contains the above-mentioned medically proven ingredients to lighten pigmentation and improve melasma by blocking the production of melanin (pigmentation) and increasing cell turnover thereby clearing dark patches of pigmentation.
Oral medications such as Tranexamic acid is able to improve melasma by interfering and blocking the melanin production pathway in UV exposure and hormonal influences.
UV defense is a crucial component in the treatment of melasma. Sun exposure has been reported to be one of the largest culprits in triggering / worsening melasma.
Dr Edwin recommends topical / applied sunblock of at least SPF 30, bearing in mind that sunblock is only effective for 4 to 6 hours. Ideally, patients should reapply sunblock every 4 hours if there is prolonged sun exposure.
Oral sunblock supplements such as the Maxi-White Oral Skincare supplement contain Colourless Carotenoids, Leuocotomos Polypodium and Glutathione as active ingredients.
They have been shown in studies to boost the skin’s defense against UV rays, lighten pigmentation and improve melasma.
Lasers when used correctly by an experienced doctor can speed up the process of melasma treatment. Dr Edwin prefers to combine the Spectra Pigment Laser with the Quadrostar Pro Yellow laser.
This dual laser method accelerates the breakdown of pigments as well as inhibits the formation of new pigments, thereby improving the appearance of melasma.
Dr Edwin Lim has successfully treated many cases of Melasma with his multi-modal approach.
Contact us today at 69042218 or 96372218 to find out more!