Melasma, also known as hormonal pigmentation, is a considerable problem for many South African women (and even some men). Melasma has no favourites and does not discriminate, it can happen in all skin types and can absolutely affect both men and women, although most cases occur in female patients.
It is very important to remember that Melasma is a chronic skin condition that occurs on the face in the form of darkened patches and it is a dynamic (active) condition that needs lifelong treatment and ongoing management.
While there are many treatment options available for pigmentation and pigmented lesions, some will only yield minimal results as they focus mostly on the superficial skin, but Melasma is most commonly a combination of both superficial and deep pigmentation, which is why it can be so tricky.
It is vital to remember that Melasma is not only a pigmentary condition, but will always be accompanied by underlying vascularity, redness, sensitivity and inflammation. For this reason, a combination approach is necessary as we need to address all of these issues to be successful.
Due to its hormonal component, supplementation to control inflammation and skin health is also advised.
Melasma treatments may include a combination of the following:
- Superficial treatments:
- Superficial chemical Peels
- Microdermabrasion with Active ingredients that target pigmentation
- Limelight (only done in winter and only once a year on Melasma patients, when the skin has been appropriately prepared) – Only on Skin Types 1-3
- Laser Genesis
- RF Needling with Secret RF or Endymed Intensif
- PDT with Tranexamic Acid and brightening ingredients
- Transdermal Mesotherapy with Radiance Cream and Tranexamic Acid
- Dermamelan or Cosmelan Depigmenting Mask
- Injected Mesotherapy with Tranexamic Acid
- Dermapen with tyrosinase inhibitors and/or depigmenting actives
- IV Infusions with Glutathione & Vitamin C
- Biopuncture for the skin
Skin Renewal Tips
- Avoid hot baths, Bikram Yoga, steam saunas, tanning beds, and dry saunas as they can cause excessive inflammation and may aggravate hormonal pigmentation.
- Use a Tyrosinase inhibitor (pigmentation inhibiting product) daily to prevent new excess pigment form being produced in the skin
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50+ to block the UVA rays every day to help prevent melasma/hormonal pigmentation
- Avoid sun exposure to your face, neck, and décolleté, and wear a protective hat when outdoors for extended periods to further block these rays.
- Taking an oral antioxidant supplement such as Heliocare 360 Capsules daily is clinically proven to raise one's level of resistance to the sun and also helps to reduce the melanin content in the skin down the line.
- In addition to your sunscreen, you should also apply antioxidants such as Vit C, Vit E, Ferulic Acid, and Phloretin to protect against infrared A
- A daily high dose of 4000 mg of MSM per day will increase intracellular Glutathione and help reduce pigmentation in the skin