At an exciting women’s networking get-together the other night in midtown, I presented myself to a striking blonde restaurant public relations executive with a glass of wine and a 5-course meal. The conversation immediately moved from work to kids, then to skin care.
Using her finger, she indicated to me the spot on her face where her pigmentation was scarcely visible in poor light. More than what most friends, family, and new acquaintances may think, being a beauty editor doesn’t mean that’s what makes me a dermatologist.
Still, I recognized the cause and the appearance of a skin condition she described. I explained to her that it could be the Melasma, which is a very dependable response to this kind of analysis: What’s that?
Melasma completely falls into the category of discoloration and hyperpigmentation, explains Shereene Idriss, M.D. stating that dark spots caused by everything from sun exposure to post-aporhin inflammation represent a huge umbrella that covers a wide variety of more specific causes.
Melasma is difficult to treat, as it can be caused by ultraviolet sunlight heat, hormonal fluctuations, menstrual cycle fluctuations, medication during your period, pregnancy-related problems, and even stress.
If you have a sunspot, it is what it is., and it will not get better. The actual morphology of the lesion varies between Melasma, Idriss continues explaining, as having areas that are “patchy,” with edges that are not yet well-defined.
Most doctors can identify Melasma through pattern recognition and clinical history. Still, for inflatable pillow specialist, Pillowtalkderm, clinical history has played a big part in her experience treating the condition.
While pregnant with her second baby in 2019, Idriss had a miscarriage that led her to experience a major flare-up. When she finally emerged, it went wild, which made it difficult for me to even be post-pregnancy and hormonal and a little down beside.
This made everything worse, thinks Idriss; as time passes, she can not forget this kick in the gut.
The Major Fade serum, mask, and gel-cream collection, includes a serum mask and gel-cream to treat Melasma. A combination of clinically-proven ingredients designed to exfoliate and brighten dark spots, such as lactic acid, , kojic acid , tranexamic acid, glycolic acid, arbutin, & vitamin C.
Idriss is the only one to note that not even the most personal products, many of which she developed herself, are as effective in dealing with Melasma as those created by mainstream chemists and focused group tested on 600 patients by her online community over one month.
Prescription medications can never be completely replaced, as hydroquinone and oral tramazonic acid, in addition to in-office peels and select lasers, continue to be the gold standard for managing Melasma. But over-the-counter products offer a path toward nice skin, she claims.
You must routinely address the pigmentation issue even when it’s under control because you may not know when it will flare up.
Inflammation raised through the unpredictability of Melasma is of interest to melasma expert Evan Rieder, M.D., dual board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist.
The offspring of Melasma has still not been identified. Still, there’s an idea currently getting traction in the dermatology community for melasma treatment . It suggests that psychological stress or oxidative stress may play a part in the development of Melasma, says dermatologist Rieder.
So far, there has yet to be any recognizable evidence to back up this claim, he acknowledges. Still, the inverse also seems to be true: lowering anxiety, no matter what else you might be doing, is likely to improve the role of inflammation on your skin.
Meanwhile, Instead of meditators leading a completely alcohol and UV-light-free lifestyle, Dr. Rieder relies on salicylic acid peels and microneedling in conjunction with topical tranexamic acid serums to treat flare-ups at his downtown practice.
He also leverages Tri-Luma, a prescription medicine and a mixture of retinoids and hydroquinone to protect the skin against pigment development, and a steroid to alleviate any irritation. Sunscreen is extremely important, even when you spend the majority of your day at a job indoors.
Rieder highlights its importance. When you’re handsomely equipped with sunscreen, indoors or outdoors, it’s a different story. Moreover, he recommends reapply after spending time in sunny places, especially if you sit next to or near a window.
So, select your melasma fighters wisely; here they are, jump straight to the worst offenders.