Melasma, literally meaning dark skin, is a common hyperpigmentation disorder that shows up as blotchy skin, with light to dark brown macules seen on sun-exposed body parts. The skin condition does have some remedies like chemical peels that have shown positive results. Also known as the “mask of pregnancy,” Melasma is found across the face of most pregnant women, thus getting its name. In addition to pregnancy, the hyperpigmentation disorder could be found with an increased level of estrogen (from birth control pills, pregnancy, estrogen supplements, or some other hormonal reasons), causing too much production of melanin due to the creation of cells called melanocytes, and resulting in patchy skin discolorations.
At the outset, it should be noted that it is very common to have melasma for whatever reason, and it is totally harmless. In the U.S., over six million women are affected by the skin condition, which in spite of not being physically harmful, is a real cause of distress and embarrassment. So how to treat melasma?
Treatment for Hyperpigmented Disorders
Finding the cause of melasma is an important aspect in determining the best treatment option. Melasma treatment consists of the application of topical creams, lasers, and chemical peels. It is important for patients to wear sun-protective clothing along with sunscreen to reduce the possibility of any pigmentation changes that could result from UV light.
Important Things to Know Before a Chemical Peel
Chemical Peel is better suited for fair-skinned and light-haired people. For the dark-skinned people, results from chemical peel depend on the kind of problem being treated. People with bulges, sags on the skin, as well as wrinkles, do not respond to chemical peel effectively. For these skin conditions, the patient needs to opt for other cosmetic surgical procedures like an eyelid lift, brow lift, laser resurfacing, or dermal fillers. A physician is a right person to prescribe the most suitable treatment for these skin conditions.
Chemical Peels Can Treat The Following:
- Improve look and feel of skin areas affected by hyperpigmentation due to sun damage.
- Decrease fine lines below the eyes as well as around the mouth
- Treat wrinkles resulting from aging and sun damage
- Treat certain acne
- Improve look of mild scars
- Lessen pigmentation, age spots, freckles from pregnancy and birth control pills intake, and dark patches (melasma)
Before a Chemical Peel
A therapist at Wellbeing Medical Centre will find if there is any history of scarring, facial X-rays, or cold sores. Sit for a consultation with the aesthetic therapist to find out the depth of the chemical peel to be applied. This decision is made after finding the skin condition and aim of undergoing the treatment. The therapist will be the right person to determine the depth of peel and the chemical solution that should be used for your specific skin condition, and is based on the skin type, the areas requiring treatment, the type of results that you look for, and extent of risk that you can take, along with other issues.
Two to three weeks before the treatment, you will be required to prepare your skin by cleansing a couple of time every day, apply moisture twice daily, and use a sunscreen every day. This treatment is designed to have an even skin peel, expedite the healing process after the peel, and lessen the chances of getting an infection and other issues coming up like uneven color changes in the skin.
Things to Expect After a Chemical Peel
Recovery time after undergoing chemical peel for Melasma treatment depends on the type of peel opted, and the depth of treatment. Irrespective of the type of peels used, it is important to take proper skin care after the treatment to expedite healing, prevent infection, prevent changes of color in the area treated due to sun exposure, and keep the results last longer. The kind of care required after undergoing chemical peel is similar to that done before undergoing the treatment, and typically consists of the following:
- Frequent Cleansing of the skin
- Daily moisturizing of skin
- Avoiding exposure to the sun as long as peeling occurs, and use sunscreen. After chemical peel treatment, use sunscreen on a daily basis.