What You Need to Know About Melasma

melasma treatmentMelasma is common skin problem that many people don’t know about and don’t realize they have. Manifesting as dark patches (brown and gray-brown) on your cheeks, nose, forehead, chin, and above your upper lip (and sometimes on your neck or forearms – think places that get a ton of sun exposure), melasma is a visible skin problem, rather than an uncomfortable one.

And while it doesn’t hurt or irritate you physically, no one likes having brown splotches randomly (and suddenly out of nowhere) on their face!

Who gets it and why?

People with darker skin tones and who tan easily are more susceptible to melasma as well as thosewhose family members have it. The specific cause of melasma is unknown; however, it’s thought that the people with melasma’s melanocytes (cells that cause pigmentation) are overactive. But even though we don’t know the exact cause, we do know melasma’s triggers:

The Sun: As with most skin problems, sun damage plays a significant role. In this case, UV rays stimulate melanocytes which means that even minimal exposure can bring it back and explains why it recurs.

Your Hormones: With melasma, it seems that hormones are the likely culprit since womentend to get it more than men (only 10% of sufferers are men) and it often comes hand in hand with pregnancy. When pregnant women get it, it’s called chloasma (the mask of pregnancy). But, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapies can also bring it on.

Your Skin Care Regime: Combine an irritating skin care product with sun exposure and/or pregnancy and melasma can worsen, which is a great reason to take good care of your skin with dermatologically approved products for daily advanced skin care like SkinCeuticals.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

As skilled skin experts, dermatologists can diagnose melasma on sight, but we may examine your skin using a Wood’s lamp to see how deeply it’s penetrating your skin. Even though we can typically diagnose immediately, melasma can also look like other skin conditions, so wemay need to perform a skin biopsy to confirm.

For some people, melasma fades without treatment when a trigger is removed (following pregnancy or going off birth control pills), but it’s not always the case. And even though treatment can eliminate your melasma, it tends to recur – especially if you’re not taking proper care to avoid sun damage or care for your skin. The best way to tackle melasma is with a combination of medical treatments, sun protection, and an advanced daily skin care regime.

Medical Treatments: There are many medical treatments you can try for melasma that vary based on your skin and your budget. Be sure to consult with an expert dermatologist because the wrong treatment can create new skin problems; treatments must be tailored to your specific skin.

Medical procedures: Depending on your specific skin, we may suggest laser or light-based treatments or medical facials like a chemical peel or microdermabrasion. Each of these interventions has its own unique benefits and may also aid in correcting other skin problems or concerns.

Medical grade topical treatments: A hydroquinone treatment can be a cream, lotion, gel, or liquid and works to lighten the skin. You may benefit most from azelaic acid, kojic acid, tretinoin, a corticosteroid, or a triple cream (combination of hydroquinone, tretinoin, and a corticosteroid).

Some of these topical treatments are over the counter, while others are prescriptions, but your dermatologist will recommend the best option for you.

Sun Protection: The number one treatment for melasma is sun protection. Because the sun is a major trigger, you should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30, and zinc oxide or titanium dioxide on your face daily (even on cloudy days and even in the winter). Give the sunscreen 15 minutes to set in before going outside and reapply every couple of hours.
(While this is a good treatment for melasma, it’s just a good practice for your skin no matter what conditions or concerns you have). Also take care to shade your skin as much as possible with hats and clothing to give extra protection since sunscreen alone may not be enough.

Advanced Daily Skin Care Regime: Low-grade skin care products can irritate the skin, causing stinging or burning. A healthy regimen helps prevent skin concerns, treat skin problems,  and maintain healthy skin. At Rao Dermatology, we use SkinCeuticals because it’s backed by science and they continually win awards for their pharmaceutical-grade products.

While it’s not necessarily a treatment, if you’re skin is sensitive or prone to melasma, try to avoid waxing. Waxing can cause inflammation and aggravate melasma, so ask us about other hair removal options that will work for you.

What can you expect from melasma treatment?

Melasma can be a stubborn condition, but with a dermatologist’s care and a few months of treatment, you should see improvement. To get the most out of your treatment though, take particular care to follow your dermatologist’s instructions. After it clears, you may need to continue maintenance therapy to prevent the melasma from recurring.

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A Diamond Is Truly A Girl’s Best Friend.

Diamond Microdermabrasion is a noninvasive skin resurfacing treatment that uses a tipped wand made up of natural diamond chips.

The procedure at our state of the art Edmonton clinic polishes the skin and removes dead skin cells which are then vacuumed up into a filter.  The skin is left soft and supple while stimulating the regeneration of new thicker firmer skin.

With multiple treatments, it can effectively minimize the appearance of: Scars, pigmentation, fine lines, sun damaged skin, blemishes and dull/congested skin.

About Our Microdermabrasion Treatments

Turn back time with our Microdermabrasion diamond procedure. This advanced facial treatment encourages the production of collagen and elastin tissue, creating a firmer, more youthful facial contour. Your skin will feel and look smoother, more radiant and even.

Our Microdermabrasion procedures are most effective when they are performed as a series of treatments. However, even one treatment can make a huge difference in skin texture and appearance. It provides a full resurfacing effect, so your skin appears younger-looking, softer and more luminous.

Using genuine laser-cut diamond-tip applicators, microdermabrasion exfoliates the skin surface while a gentle suction feature stimulates the production of collagen & elastin and improves blood circulation. It also removes dead skin cells and impurities, which greatly improves the skin’s texture as well. Click here to book your free consultation.

Microdermabrasion FAQ

How Does Microdermabrasion Work?

The science behind microdermabrasion makes sense: when the top layer of the skin is stimulated, dead skin cells can be removed, and healthy skin cells can be rejuvenated at the same time.

Microdermabrasion is a gentle exfoliation technique that is performed with a diamond-encrusted applicator tip. The tip passes over the skins surface and creates a gentle vacuum. The diamond tip then gently exfoliates the outer most layer of dead skin cells. Once removed, it reveals one’s own fresher, younger looking skin beneath.

The diamond treatment is also ideal for more sensitive skin types as the diamond tip can be adjusted to cater to sensitive, fine skin, as well as rough or oily skin, depending on the client’s needs.

Why Does the Skin Benefit From Microdermabrasion?

Approximately every 28 days we create a new layer of skin. As new cells form they push their way to the surface of the skin and then dead cells settle on the surface. This layer of dead cells can cause pores to enlarge, get clogged, leave an uneven texture, and present a dull appearance. As we age this process starts to slow down leading to the appearance of older skin with less radiance.

Is There An Ideal Skin Type For Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is ideal for all skin types but especially for:

  • Mature skin types – The skin is lacking firmness and is showing the signs of age. As we age, our skin loses radiance. It is not as luminous as it once was. Our microdermabrasion procedure makes skin appear instantly younger, by removing the old, top layer of dead skin cells.
  • Skin with uneven skin textures. If you find that your skin is dry in places or a mixture of rough and smooth, microdermabrasion is the perfect way to even out the competing textures.
  • Skin with visible acne scarring. Our microdermabrasion procedure is an excellent way to remove the small scars and bumps that can happen from acne. Typically, these scars don’t affect the lower layers of skin. Therefore, they are easily treated and smoothed out with microdermabrasion, as the lower, smooth layers of skin are revealed.
  • Skin with pigmentation issues, such as age spots. Age spots and sun damage can be treated with our microdermabrasion procedures. The majority of age spots remain on the surface levels of skin. Once the microderm crystals remove the skin’s upper layer, the sun and age spots are drastically diminished.
  • Excessive oily skin types. Those with oily skin may experience an excess buildup of dirt and oil on the skin. This can cause blocked pores and make acne and blackheads an issue. The best method of managing oily skin is treating it with a series of microdermabrasion sessions. Oily skin especially runs the risk of appearing dull or ruddy due to the excess buildup that occurs. Even just one microdermabrasion treatment can help dramatically improve the skin’s look and texture.

What Areas Of My Skin Can Be Treated?

The most common areas of treatment are the face, neck, shoulders, knees and elbows but any body area can be treated.

How Many Treatments Do I Need?

3 to 6 are recommended for the best results. Treatments are performed every 7-14 days. Treatments are meant to be progressive, not aggressive. Results are most noticeable after the 3rd treatment, although, it is common to see results after the first session.

What Results Can I Expect?

Depending on the area treated, you will see an improvement in your skin’s appearance after your treatment. Stretch marks and acne scars will be less obvious. Age spots and fine lines are diminished, and many of our Microdermabrasion clients report that their skin seems softer, tighter, smoother and younger looking.

Is Microdermabrasion Effective For Men?

Men can use microdermabrasion just as women can. The procedure and results are just as effective.

Is There Any Downtime After a Treatment?

Microdermabrasion is a safe and gentle procedure with no downtime. You will need to protect your skin with moisturizer and sun block for 48 hours after the procedure and may experience mild redness and sloughing/peeling. However, you can return to work immediately, which is why many of our clients prefer to have microdermabrasion treatments on their lunch breaks since there is no downtime.

The risks of this procedure are extremely low making it a great option for all skin types.  It is especially effective after laser treatments and can also be used in conjunction with other maintenance procedures such as PRP (platelet rich plasma)  and microneedling.

Fill in the form below to book your free microdermabrasion consultation now.

Conditions It Treats:

  1. Acne
  2. Aging skin
  3. Brown and red spots
  4. Wrinkles
  5. Melasma
  6. Acne scarring
  7. Chest wrinkles