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What is melasma?
Expectant mothers, those on birth control pills, and those that spend heaps of time under the sun, odds are you may be suffering from a mild skin condition known as melasma. This skin condition is known to affect nearly 5 million Americans. For those suffering from this condition, you’re like familiar with those brown-gray patches that appear larger than sunspots on the face for sometimes months at a time. This common skin condition can affect both men and women targeting mostly women with darker-skinned individuals most often on the cheeks, forehead, nose, chin and above the upper lip that is not the easiest to get rid of. With hormonal changes like pregnancy and oral contraceptives often antagonizing a pre-existing condition, it is often hard to pinpoint how or why exactly a patient is suddenly suffering from melasma. In addition to hormonal changes, melasma can be brought on by heat, visible light, and even laser resurfacing treatments
Causes of Melasma
Melasma is a skin condition more commonly found mostly in pregnant women typically from ages 20-40 and individuals with darker skin tones. Individuals with darker skin tones are often more susceptible to melasma. But did you know that staring at a computer, phone, or tablet can increase your risk of melasma? New moms often begin to notice signs of melasma shortly after giving birth, despite never showing symptoms of this condition calling it the ‘mask of pregnancy’. One of the most common causes of melasma is hormone inconsistencies. Fluctuations in hormones often can trigger the onset of melasma. Whether you’re newly pregnant or have just switched
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your method of contraception, can cause certain pigment-producing cells to become hyperactive, thus creating large dark spots in places where they’d never appeared before. Continue reading for some of my safest and most effective ways to lighten melasma without irritating!
Another culprit for the appearance of melasma is one of the biggest factors of skin damage around: the sun. I always make sure to apply an even layer of sunscreen across my face, no matter the weather forecast or place I’m in. UV rays can speed up or exacerbate our skin’s natural aging process, and in this case, it can cause melasma! I recommend wearing sunscreen daily, (every 30 min- 2 hours) but if you are an expecting mother or an expecting traveler, it is a must! Because pregnant women are already at risk for developing melasma, exposure to UV rays, as well as heat and visible light, can put them at an even greater chance of developing this skin condition. I even suggest wearing a hat and sun-protective clothing if you are going to be traveling to a hot location, like sunny SoCal.
Treatments for Melasma
I love peels like Cosmelan to help lift pigment and even the skintone. This treatment is ideal for anyone dealing with tone and textural issues, hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, and of course, melasma! Those with darker skintones often struggle to find a peel or treatment that is safe enough to use without worsening the condition of their melasma. This peel, has helped countless patients regain their confidence in only a couple of weeks. What sets the Cosmelan peel apart from other peels on the market, is not only its efficacy but the entire process of the peel. Anytime a patient comes to my office for Cosmelan they must first see me for an initial skin consultation. Upon determining a patient is a good candidate for Cosmelan, we set a time for them to see our aesthetician for the peel. The peel takes only about 20 minutes to apply and must stay on for 8 hours to take full effect. For many that struggle with melasma, Cosmeland has been one of the most life changing treatments.
Applying sunscreen and keeping yourself away from the sun one way to aid melasma. Though heat doesn’t respond well for the skin condition it is important to stay cool around activities indoors and out that includes hot yoga, jacuzzi, steam rooms, even cooking meals in the oven can too activate melasma.
The Effectiveness of At-Home Treatments
Oftentimes, patients want to treat melasma at home by exfoliating and scrubbing the discoloration away. Unfortunately, by applying harsh products to a sensitive spot can cause immediate irritation and redness that will only make the skin condition worse. While treating melasma it is best to go with gentle products preferably with the aid of a medical professional. It is all about keeping a slow approach to the treatment as the pigment cells are extremely sensitive, any injury can cause the skin to stain.
Ingredients to Add to Your Skincare Routine
A great mineral sunscreen, like the KD Clear Sheer Sunscreen, offers baseline protection against visible light that could potentially cause your melasma to flare up. Formulated without chemicals, this antioxidant-rich formula will sink into your skin without ever irritating. It has been scientifically proven that some chemical sunscreens can cause skin reactions that inevitably trigger melasma. For anyone struggling with melasma or looking for the best way to keep it at bay, sunscreen is the first product you should have in your skincare arsenal.
Vitamin C effectively brightens the skin tone and helps diminish the appearance of conditions like melasma. Penetrating ascorbate blend, supporting healthy collagen production. The KD Brighten & Tighten Vitamin C Serum contains powerhouse ingredients like L-ascorbic-acid, Co-Q10, Vitamin E, and Emblica to gently brighten dark spots and reveal glowing skin in no time. Moisturizing and nourishing your skin with these essential vitamins are necessary for maintaining a healthy skin barrier. Allowing maximum penetration and absorption over time the KD Brighten & Tighten Vitamin C Serum is an excellent addition to any skincare regimen.
The KD Triple Shot Serum has become a fan favorite due to its three powerful ingredients that work to combat environmental damage to your skin. Packed with 90% Green Tea Polyphenols, a cooling and powerful antioxidant that provides heavy protection while reducing the potential for irritation. The caffeine in the serum enhances the antioxidants of the green tea reproducing new and healthy cells. Another great feature in the KD Triple Shot Serum is hyaluronic acid, a humectant that absorbs water from the air and delivers into skin cells, locking and keeping in the moist. Using great products like these will help restore and protect your skin. You can also consult an aesthetician or dermatologist for a facial peel to get rid of dead skin and encourage new skin to grow. Beauties, my last tip is to be patient! Your skin will likely heal on its own, but be sure to support it with hydration and sun protection.