Melasma and Hyperpigmentation: Causes and Treatment Options
Hyperpigmentation is a common condition causing dark patches to appear on the skin.
Its appearance may be subtle in some cases, such as freckles or liver spots. But in others, the contrast between the darker patches and the surrounding skin will be more extreme.
Melasma is one of the most well-known forms of hyperpigmentation, though the root of its development is slightly different.
Fortunately, numerous effective treatment options are available for both hyperpigmentation and melasma.
Let’s take a closer look at the causes and solutions to help you find the right treatment for your skin.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
The term “pigmentation” refers to the skin’s colouring, which is related to a pigment known as melanin.
When the body produces too much melanin, this can cause hyperpigmentation in different degrees of visibility. As mentioned above, hyperpigmentation can manifest as freckles or dark patches across the skin.
This condition may affect the whole body or specific areas only. For example, liver spots can appear on the face, scalp, and hands in older people.
However, it appears, hyperpigmentation can cause a noticeable balance issue in the skin’s pigmentation. This may lead to self-image problems, particularly when the contrast between skin colors becomes more visible than the individual affected would prefer.
Hyperpigmentation occurs in all types of skin, though it’s likely to be more visible in people of darker coloring. This is because skin pigmentation in dark skin is stronger than in paler complexions.
Hyperpigmentation may be linked to:
In the case of acne, trauma to the skin can trigger hyperpigmentation. This may affect different areas of the face, though it’s commonly seen on the cheeks.
This type of hyperpigmentation is also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which can also be caused by other skin issues (such as eczema).
Certain drugs are known to cause hyperpigmentation. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarials, antipsychotics, and more.
Exact causes vary from one drug type to another. Specific drugs can react with melanin or other substances within the skin to change coloring in one or more areas.
Excessive exposure to sunlight is another common cause of hyperpigmentation.
Why? Because sunlight stimulates production of melanin, which absorbs UV rays to defend the body against the sun’s harmful effects. That’s what creates suntans.
The longer you spend in the sun without protecting yourself with sun block, the more likely hyperpigmentation formation may be.
Sun-related hyperpigmentation could appear as a modest cluster of freckles, large age spots, or bigger patches of discoloration in areas exposed to UV rays frequently. These include the hands, face, arms, neck, and legs.
It’s crucial to protect your skin from potential sun-related damage, but not just to reduce your risk of developing hyperpigmentation. Skin cancer is, sadly, another well-known effect of excess time in the sun.
And cases in Canada have increased significantly in the past few decades, so it’s vital to be sensible with your skin care.
What causes melasma?
Melasma looks similar to other forms of hyperpigmentation, but it’s actually caused in part by hormonal changes. Pregnant women are likely to develop melasma — that’s why it’s known as the “mask of pregnancy”.
Typically, melasma manifests as patches of dark, blotchy skin on the upper lip, cheeks, and forehead.
Why does it affect pregnant women? Because hormonal shifts within the body trigger excess production of pigment. Melasma can be exacerbated by frequent exposure to UV rays and heat too.
Melasma may start to develop during the first trimester of pregnancy and remain until after the birth. Generally, dark patches will begin to fade, though treatment may be required if they persist.
What treatments are available for hyperpigmentation and melasma?
Hyperpigmentation and melasma can both be treated. But melasma may require a little more work as it’s related to hormones.
A comprehensive assessment of your health and lifestyle may be needed to identify the most effective treatment in the long run.
The Astra Medi Spa team offers three innovative products designed to treat hyperpigmentation in its various forms. We’ll invite you to discuss your skin condition with us during a consultation ahead of your treatment. This ensures we choose the right option.
The Perfect Peel
The Perfect Peel is a high-end skin treatment formulated to achieve real results for diverse skin types and ethnicities. It contains such powerful ingredients as:
Glutathione is a crucial antioxidant with anti-aging properties. This penetrates the skin deeply to help combat premature wrinkles and oxidation. While glutathione occurs in the human body naturally, it depletes as we age.
Kojic Acid is known for its power to lighten the skin and boost the production of collagen and elastin. This brightens and tightens target areas.
All of these ingredients work to reduce or remove sun damage, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and create more balanced skin.
Clear + Brilliant
Clear + Brilliant is a powerful laser treatment that rejuvenates the skin from the inside out. It targets the skin’s upper layers to replace damaged skin with healthier tissue, creating a more youthful look across multiple treatments.
Clear + Brilliant is designed to enhance skin tone, texture, and appearance overall. It’s also effective at reducing the visibility of fine lines and pores.
Quality skincare products
Astra Medi Spa’s expert team offers a wide range of skincare products that can help reduce the visibility of hyperpigmentation.
Eltraderm Advanced Native Collagen + HA is formulated to hydrate, soothe, and improve the appearance of damaged skin.
Astramed Skin Perfect is an antimicrobial cleanser to revitalize the skin, remove dead cells, enhance skin texture, and cover imperfections. It can create a clearer, cleaner complexion, particularly for people affected by acne.
Hyperpigmentation and melasma may cause significant changes in your appearance, but Astra’s team is here to help!
Each treatment we offer is undertaken by an experienced professional, and we’ll take the time to understand your condition carefully during your pre-treatment consultation.
To learn more about our skin treatments and schedule your consultation, get in touch now!
Dedicated and passionate Astra Medicare staff.