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 dermatologist Anita Saluja, MD and 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. It may also appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun exposure, such as the forearms and neck
What does Melasma look like?
Brown or gray-brown patches on the face are the most visible characteristics of melasma. These patches most commonly appear on the cheeks, forehead, the bridge of the nose, above the upper lip, and in 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, but many people feel it detracts from their appearance.
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 yet known. It seems to occur when the melanocytes, which are cells in the skin that produce melanin, produce too much pigmentation. People with darker skin are more likely to get melasma because they have more active melanocytes than people with lighter skin. 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 can cause melasma to recur after fading. Sun exposure is the reason that melasma is seen more commonly in Florida and often worsens during the summer months, and this is the main reason it returns again and again in so many people. Hormonal changes also trigger melasma. Melasma often occurs during pregnancy. In these cases, it is called chloasma, or the mask of pregnancy. Birth control pills and hormone replacement treatment may also trigger 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 sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day, and reapply every two hours. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat 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 information on medical grade sunscreen and antioxidants.
How is Melasma diagnosed?
Melasma may be diagnosed during a simple visual examination of the area by a skilled dermatologist. Rarely, a skin biopsy is warranted.
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 are available for persistent cases. These include topical medicated creams, chemical peels such as Vi precision plus peels, or laser treatment. A skilled dermatologist such as Dr. Saluja at Dermatology + Plastic Surgery should oversee or perform these procedures in order to ensure safe and optimal results. 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.
How much do Melasma Treatments cost in Central Florida?
Treatment for Melasma varies according to the treatment area and treatment used, and prices will vary accordingly. Melasma treatments are considered cosmetic and not covered by health insurance carriers. To manage costs, our office provides flexible payment options for our patients’ convenience.
If melasma is affecting your facial appearance, consider a treatment to clear up this condition. Melasma treatments are available at Dermatology + Plastic Surgery, led by dermatologist Anita Saluja, MD and plastic surgeon Rebecca Novo, MD for residents of Melbourne, Viera, Brevard County, the beaches, and surrounding communities in Central Florida. Contact us now!