Rituals Day Spa

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308 Hurontario Street
Collingwood, Ontario
L9Y 2M3

Melasma Treatment

Melasma (chloasma) is a disorder of cutaneous pigmentation stimulated by estrogens. Though it does not pose any health risk, it can be cosmetically embarrassing.

Quick Facts about Melasma:

  • Though the cause of melasma is wholly unknown, some uncommon causative factors include: pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone abnormality, and prolonged exposure to sunlight.
  • Melasma mostly affects women, although it may occur uncommonly in men.
  • It usually appears as large brown-grey patches on the face, symmetrically located on the cheeks, lips and forehead, and occasionally found on the neck and arms.
  • Most melasma patients tend to have a more olive or dark complexion.
  • Melasma is more commonly found on individuals who have a previous family history of the condition.
  • Melasma can never really be cured, but can be dramatically improved.

Classification of Melasma

Melasma can be classified into epidermal, dermal, or mixed subtypes based on the distribution of excessive melanin within the cutaneous layers.

Treatment of Melasma

Treatment of melasma can be difficult, especially for the deeper type. In fact, if treated improperly, the condition may worsen. However, several effective treatment options have been available over the years. More recently, fractional laser therapy became the first light-based technology approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.

In our practice we have also found that, intense pulse light (IPL), chemical peels and microdermabrasion may also help to improve melasma of different cutaneous layers.

Post-treatment of Melasma

UV radiation is a main factor that worsens melasma, therfore sunlight protection is essential for melasma patients. We recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 40 or more - protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays. Protective clothing and hats are also highly recommended. Some melasma patients should discuss alternative options of oral contraceptive with their gynaecologists, as it may significantly increase the chance of reoccurrence.