Melasma typically forms between the ages of 20 and 40 years old and can be a significant worry for people who don’t understand the issue they are dealing with. Melasma occurs when cells responsible for the colour of your skin are overproduced. It is a common, harmless condition that usually fades after a few months.
Melasma is more likely to affect people with darker skin or who tan more easily than those with fairer skin. Men are also less likely to experience melasma than women.
Below, we’ll break down the causes of melasma and explore the cosmetic treatments available at Avana.
The Primary Causes of Melasma
Melasma has several known causes, including radiation, which could come from ultraviolet, visible, or infrared (heat) light. Ultraviolet and infrared radiation from the sun can both make melasma worse, as can changes in hormones during pregnancy, hormone treatment, or while taking birth control pills. Certain skin care products can also irritate the skin.
Melasma may also have a genetic component, as people whose close relatives have experienced melasma are more likely to develop it themselves.
Recognising the Types of Melasma
Melasma can cause light or dark brown and black or bluish spots and patches on your skin. Sometimes the patches can become red or inflamed. There are three types of melasma, based on the depth of the pigment. These three types are:
- Epidermal: Epidermal melasma has a dark brown colour and a well-defined border.
- Dermal: Dermal melasma has a light brown or bluish colour and a blurry border.
- Mixed melasma: The most common of these three types, mixed melasma features both brown and bluish patches.
Treatments Available For Melasma
Melasma is often confused with other skin conditions. Skin care professionals often perform a biopsy to identify the condition, removing and examining a small piece of skin.
The volume and depth of melanin pigment present in your skin will determine the necessary number of treatments. Four or five treatments are usually sufficient to treat most black or brown spots. Here at Avana, we apply the treatment with our Helios-III, world unique Fractional Q-Switched Nd: YAG laser. The sensation only lasts for a fraction of a second, and you may experience a warm feeling (many patients describe the sensation as a kind of hot pinch). Most people tolerate pigmentation removal without any topical anesthetic cream.
Treatments are performed every four weeks apart, and the melasma continues to fade in between each treatment. The interval allows skin healing and fading to maximise before the next treatment.
The Key Benefits of Avana Helios-III Treatments
All Avana treatments are undertaken by highly experienced and qualified consultants, using the most proven technologies and techniques. We have successfully provided our FDA-approved treatments for over a decade, which we believe is evidence of our experience and professionalism. The key benefits include:
- Helios-III is FDA approved, which means it is a world-class laser machine
- Painless and very safe because of the patented fractional handpiece
- Minimum downtime
- The laser beam emitted is even and uniform resulting in the treatment being very effective
Melasma goes away on its own for many, though it may be permanent for some. For others, the condition will respond to treatment after a few months. Most cases of melasma will fade away with time and with good protection from sunlight and other light sources.
If you have any worries about the pigmentation of your skin, contact us to make an appointment, where we will present you with options, and make the appropriate recommendations for treatment.