Melasma / Pigmentation In Dark Skin Types

People of color are a very large group, which in South Africa includes people of African and Asian descent.

It also includes patients of mixed backgrounds who have more darkly pigmented skin. Darker skin type people represent a significant and growing group of patients seeking aesthetic procedures. This is because of the increased awareness of safe, affordable aesthetic procedures. These procedures include amazing new lasers that are colour blind and are less invasive than previous generations of lasers. Yet special concerns have to be addressed when treating skin of color.

Melasma, also known as hormonal pigmentation, is a considerable problem for South African women especially in darker skin types. It is a chronic skin condition that occurs on the face in the form of brown patches and is a dynamic (active) condition that needs lifelong management.

Skin Renewal Tip

People of colour who are looking to treat hormonal Pigmentation / Melasma with lasers or lights would be well advised to consult with a medical doctor with experience in treating skin of colour to prevent unwanted effects such as full thickness burns, permanent scarring and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. At Skin Renewal hundreds of Patients with dark skin types have been treated for hormonal pigmentation . If the above recommendations and treatments are followed virtually any patient can be a candidate for a lightening of their pigmentation. However melasma is a dynamic condition and one day of unintentional sun burn can set you back.

Conditions Video

Frequently Asked Questions

Treatment for melasma in black skin is available in Johannesburg, Sandton and Pretoria at the Morningside, Parkhurst, Bedfordview, Fourways, West Rand. Illovo, Irene, Brooklyn branches as well as in the Western Cape at Cape Quarter, Claremont, Constantia, Stellenbosch and Willowbridge branches and KwaZulu Natal in Durban & Umhlanga

  • UVA rays are a stimulant for melanin (brown pigmentation) to develop on the skin, and unfortunately can even penetrate through car window glass.
  • Any change in hormonal status with higher levels of estrogen is thought to trigger and aggravate the condition (i.e. birth control pills and pregnancy).Discontinuing the use of contraceptives rarely clears the pigmentation and it may last for many years after discontinuation.
  • After pregnancy Melasma (chloasma) or pigmentation usually clears within a few months of delivery but may persist indefinitely
  • However many women without these risk factors also develop melasma
  • Any activities that cause Intense heat to the face( from steam showers, hot closed environments, sitting on the beach even under cover and with full sun protection, etc causes inflammation which is a powerful stimulator of melanin
  • It is more prevalent in darker-complexioned individuals though persons of any race can be affected due to the intense sun exposure in South Africa.
  • Melasma is seen most frequently in young women but can be seen in men
  • Centro Facial (forehead),
  • Malar (cheekbones) and
  • Mandibular (jawline).
  • Avoid sun exposure and wear a protective hat when outdoors for extended periods to further block these rays.
  • Use a a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ to block the UVA rays every day to help prevent melasma.
  • In addition your sunscreen should also contain an anti oxidant as this stops free radicals which cause pigmentation.
  • At least 10 mls of sunscreen should be applied daily to the face and neck twice a day to prevent melasma.
  • Taking an oral anti oxidant supplement such as Pycnogenol from the French Maritime Pinebark 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.
  • As melasma is a dynamic condition and needs to be manage daily and indefinitely. One day of unintentional sun burn can set you back.

Home therapies for Melasma in dark skin types:

We offer the highly effective depigmentation topical creams: Dermamelan Maintenance Cream and Cosmelan 2

We offer pigmentation serums with recent advances in pigmentation technology - pigmentation peptides in our home care products: This includes the Brighter Concentrate and Luminesce range by Lamelle. Brighter concentrate uses peptide technology to reduce melanin at eight points in its production, as opposed to just one point as with other traditional lightening treatments.

Lumixyl, decapeptide pigmentation topical, developed at Stanford University is also available.

Pigmentation ranges by top cosmeceuticals houses Neostrata are available at all Skin Renewal branches

In House topical brightening agents have been specially developed for Skin Renewal. The Skin Renewal brand includes traditional brightening products such as Kojic, Arbutin, Nicotinamide amongst others. Topical anti oxidants that protect against infra red A, a newly discovered deep wavelength which causes accelerated ageing and pigmentation, is also available at Skin Renewal.

In Office therapies for Melasma in dark skin types:

At Skin Renewal it's is mandatory that one of the home brightening products mentioned above be used routinely for 2 weeks on the entire before any exfoliation treatment such as peels. A visit/consultation to one of our doctors who are experienced in treating skin of colour is mandatory before any procedure.

In Office Treatments available at Skin Renewal include Superficial peels.such as the Yellow peel, which is a full epidermal peel for PIH that is resistant to treatment with normal superficial AHA and BHA peels. Transdermal Mesotherapy with prescription Brightening products done straight after our peels improves the final result by removing deep dermal pigment. Cosmelan and Dermamelan mask treatments together with the home maintenance products offer superior results for resistant pigmentation.

The epidermis renews itself every six weeks, by six months, any pigment from PIH is probably in the dermis. Traditional skin rejuvenation treatments such as peels, microdermabrasion and bleaching agents are not successful for pigment such as PIH that has leached into the dermis. That is when the use of certain lasers such as the long pulsed Nd Yag become effective to safely treat darker skin including skin type 6. The Laser Genesis procedure by Cutera gently heat the dermis, causing cavitation bubbles, which disrupt the unwanted dermal pigment, breaking it into smaller particles which are able to move upward to the epidermis where it can be easily removed with exfoliation. The PDT Red Light withpost peel reduces inflammation and evens out skin tone.

Our Brightening Intravenous infusions with brightening anti oxidants such as glutathione which work intracellularly to remove resistant pigment. An overall lighter and even skin tone can be expected.


See all reviews
*Please note results may vary by individuals.
Review -Extreme bad melasma almost gone
Reviewed on 22 August 2018 by Anonymous

I am quite pleased with the treatment I have received from Skin Renewal, Bedfordview Branch. My extreme bad melasma is almost gone. I feel rejuvenated and younger looking. The staff have insight about their job. They are friendly and professional. I enjoy price reduction through Skin Renewal reward scheme. Fabulous treatmenst.

Review -Highly Recommended.
Reviewed on 22 August 2018 by Anonymous

As usual, wonderful being treated by Anel and Dr Toni and the helpful staff at front desk. Highly recommended professionals!

Review -Brilliant Experience
Reviewed on 11 June 2018 by Anonymous

Have had a brilliant experience, both with treatments and how she treats me. She is methodical, precise, takes no shortcuts and leaves me feeling that the treatment I have done will work because she has taken great care to make sure that they are done properly. Highly recommended her on all levels.

Review -Professional service
Reviewed on 4 June 2018 by Anonymous

The staff is very professional, and my therapist is very good. She knows what she is doing and handles everything on a professional base.

Review -Lashes like no other
Reviewed on 31 May 2018 by Anonymous

Helen knows her lashes. She also listens and accomodats the clients request. Not one size fits all approach!

Review -Amazing Lashes
Reviewed on 30 May 2018 by Ilsa Adlem

The best lash extensions ever. Always proffesional and relaxing. Couldn't get better!

Review -Very Professional
Reviewed on 25 May 2018 by Anonymous

Very professional service. Individualized and focused treatment plans with amazing results. Recently started Dermapen and this has been a wonderful and satisfying experience. Thank you

Review -Excellent service and Products
Reviewed on 18 May 2018 by Anonymous

Very happy with my progress of my skin. Loving more radiant, clear and fresh. Excellent guidance from Marisa as she understands my skin.

Review -Professionalism at its best
Reviewed on 23 April 2018 by Esra

I was recommended by a friend.I am so glad I came, the staff are all very welcoming, friendly and very professional. Their knowledge of skin care is outstanding. Abigail does my treatments and I highly recommend her. She is great and does an amazing job.

Review -Parkhurst Satisfaction
Reviewed on 21 April 2018 by Anonymous

I have always been completely satisfied with the treatments and service received at Skin Renewal. the staff are friendly and professional. The treatments address all my skin requirements.

Review -Best Service
Reviewed on 27 March 2018 by Maruledi

I have had the best service at this branch from the onset I have enjoyed my treatments. My therapist is the best (Deoné). I would definitely recommend everyone on my contact list. My progress is super.

Review -Thank You
Reviewed on 8 March 2018 by Salomé Van Der Westhuizen

I am very impressed with my doctor. He was patient and very caring about my problem. He took his time to explain and examine me. He restored my faith in Skin Renewal. Thank You.

Review -I followed her
Reviewed on 7 March 2018 by Teresa Van Rensburg

I followed Marisa here from another clinic and I must say, I love Skin Renewal. The treatments have made a big improvement, I have scars as well and they have faded a bit as well since doing treatments here.

Review -Caring, considerate therapy, maticulous attention to detail
Reviewed on 1 March 2018 by Jessica Pollard

I am incredibly pleased to have walked through the doors of Skin Renewal Parkhurst after many years of merely passing it on the way to work. I have been given thoughtful advice on the treatment of the Melasma on my face, a condition that has bothered and upset me, and I find myself looking forward to each visit as the condition shows dramatic improvement. Marisa is a wonderful therapist, taking such pride in her work and is incredibly professional in administering the treatments I receive. I look forward to seeing the beaming faces at reception and appreciate the careful consideration Dr Semple gives when suggesting further treatment. Many thanks, as highly recommended.

Review -I am comfortable
Reviewed on 24 February 2018 by Muneera Roomaney

Very friendly, and always feel very comfortable and at ease. My skin has improved so much. I feel so confident about my skin. I have referred family members to this clinic and will continue to do so further. Thank you so much for everything. You are amazing.

Review -Feels like home everytime
Reviewed on 16 September 2014 by Mali Langa

The staff at Brooklyn are awesome, I feel like I'm at home every time I go there. Keep up the good spirit guys, you rock!!!

Review -Relaxing Experience
Reviewed on 16 September 2014 by Anonymous

Lizanne is die terapeut wat my gereeld behandel. Ek geniet dit baie om na hierdie kliniek te kom. Die dames is baie vriendlik en hulle voel al soos my vriendinne. Die diens is uitstekend en die behandeling is uiters professioneel en ek ontspan heerlik. Ek sal dit vir enige een aan beveel.

Review -'n Ware Bederf!
Reviewed on 10 September 2014 by Aleit Swanepoel

Hiermee net 'n dankie boodskap vir die facial; Tammy was ongelooflik goed en professioneel. Ek het die werklik waardeer en dit was 'n ware bederf!

Review -I appreciate the advice!
Reviewed on 8 September 2014 by Theresa Van Heerden

Cindy is friendly, efficient and considerate during the treatment. I receive professional threading treatment and the advice is appreciated.

Review -I love my therapist!
Reviewed on 5 September 2014 by Lebo Ndlovu

I have had a pleasant experience so far and I love my therapist, she's professional and knowledgeable as well as friendly.

Review -Mani & Pedi's with Cindy
Reviewed on 2 September 2014 by Hermien Strumpher

Cindy Mouton is a very friendly and professional therapist, as part of the Willowbridge team.