Melasma Treatments in Melbourne, FL
Melasma is a skin complexion condition where there are brown patches on the face. Fortunately, this stubborn condition may be helped by the team of specialists in dermatology and skin care at Dermatology + Plastic Surgery, led by board-certified dermatologist Anita Saluja, MD and double board-certified plastic surgeon Rebecca Novo, MD, serving residents of Melbourne, Viera, Brevard County, the beaches, and surrounding areas in Central Florida.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a common skin problem that produces brown to gray-brown patches on the face. These patches most commonly appear on the cheeks, forehead, the bridge of the nose, above the upper lip, and on the chin. Some people may get melasma on their forearms or neck, although this is much less common. Melasma does not cause any physical symptoms of discomfort, or present any health risks, but it can cause significant emotional distress for those whose appearance is affected by it.
Who is at Risk for Melasma?
Melasma occurs much more frequently in women than in men, in fact, only about 10 percent of people affected by melasma are men. People with darker skin, such as those of Latin/Hispanic, North African, African American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean descent, are more likely to be affected by melasma, as are those who have a history of melasma in their family.
What Causes Melasma?
The cause of melasma is not completely known. It seems to occur when the melanocytes, which are cells in the skin that produce melanin, produce too much pigmentation. Hormonal fluctuations, heat, and certain irritants are known to trigger melasma, including exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. In fact, even a tiny amount of sun exposure will cause melasma to recur after fading. Sun exposure is the reason that melasma is seen so often in Florida and worsens during the summer months. Hormonal changes can also spark melasma to occur during pregnancy. In these cases, it is called chloasma, or the mask of pregnancy. Birth control pills and hormone replacement treatment may also activate melasma. Other irritants include skin care products that may irritate the skin and trigger the onset of melasma.
How can I Prevent Melasma?
The best way to prevent melasma is by protecting your skin from sun exposure. Wear a medical grade mineral sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day and, if outside or near windows, reapply every two hours. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and taking an oral antioxidant such as Heliocare when you are outside is also recommended, since sunscreen alone may not provide sufficient protection.
Visit our For Your Best Self-store for our selection of curated medical grade mineral sunscreens and antioxidants such as topical vitamin C.
How is Melasma Treated?
In some cases, melasma fades naturally. This may happen when the melasma is caused by a specific trigger, such as pregnancy or birth control pills, and the trigger is removed. In some individuals, however, melasma may last years or even a lifetime. Treatments options are available for persistent cases and include topical medications, chemical peels, and laser treatments. Melasma may require several months of treatment to see significant improvement. You will most often require follow up skin care treatments after your melasma improves because recurrences are common. A proper skin care routine, with products designed for your specific skin, is crucial for lifelong maintenance.
How much do Melasma Treatments cost in Central Florida?
Treatment and prices for treatment for Melasma vary according to the treatment area and treatment used. Melasma treatments are considered cosmetic and not covered by health insurance carriers, however you may use health savings account or flexible spending account dollars.
Contact our office to learn more about the various treatments we offer.