Your Guide to Melasma

Melasma is a common skin condition characterized by patches of brown or grayish patches that develop on the skin. Do you want to learn more about melasma? We have put together a guide to melasma. While this condition is most commonly seen on the face, it can occur anywhere on the body that is regularly exposed to sunlight, including the shoulders, neck, and chest. While melasma is a benign condition and does not cause any physical symptoms, it is often permanent, making those affected by it interested in ways to reduce the appearance of dark patches. To answer any questions you may have about this common condition, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to melasma, including possible causes and treatments.

Causes of Melasma

The first topic in our guide to melasma is learning about the causes. While the exact cause of melasma is still unknown, there are some correlations between certain factors and the development of melasma. For example, it is more common in women, especially in pregnant women. Also known as “pregnancy mask,” it is estimated that melasma develops in up to 50% of pregnant women. It has been hypothesized that hormones can trigger pigment-producing cells to produce more melanin. 

There is also a link between UV light exposure and melasma, which suggests that sun exposure may trigger or intensify pre-existing melasma. This is why pigmentation associated with melasma can improve in the winter months and become more noticeable in the summer. Melasma is more commonly seen in people of color or those who tan easily, but it can occur in anyone regardless of sex or skin tone. While not hereditary, those with a family history of melasma are more likely to develop the condition. In more rare instances, melasma has been linked to certain medications and conditions that may affect hormones, such as thyroid conditions. 

Melasma Treatments

Another item in our guide to melasma is there is no cure for melasma, but numerous treatments can help reduce the appearance of dark patches on the skin. Procedures and products provided by O’Neill Plastic Surgery have been effective in improving the skin’s texture and tone. Some of the solutions we offer include:

PicoSure Laser

A great treatment in our guide to melasma, PicoSure laser works effectively for melasma because of its use of ultrashort pulses of photomechanical light energy. These pulses target the cells of the skin patches to break apart the pigmentation and signals cells to regenerate new, healthy pigmentation. This treatment is gentle on the skin and won’t harm the surrounding cells or healthy skin while targeting the melasma patches. 

IPL Treatment

IPL technology uses optimal wavelengths of light to target certain chromophores in the skin to improve the color of the skin, correct some sun damage, correct uneven skin pigment, and eliminate unsightly facial vessels. While IPL treatments are effective for various skin conditions, it may also help to reduce the appearance of melasma. Our certified laser specialists perform both PicoSure and IPL Treatments. 

Skincare Products

One of our knowledgeable estheticians can take a look at your skin and provide a guide to melasma skincare products and pigment control products. To see all of the skincare available and to take advantage of our October 20% off pigment control product special, visit our office located at 245 Seven Farms Drive #210.

Because there are no health implications associated with melasma, cosmetic procedures can effectively reduce hyperpigmentation which is the primary complaint of this condition. 

Schedule a Consultation

If you’ve been in need of a guide to melasma, schedule a consultation with one of the specialists at O’Neill Plastic Surgery. During the month of October, we are offering 20% off pigment control products and 20% off laser rejuvenation to help reduce the appearance of melasma and other hyperpigmentation conditions. Request an appointment or call us at (843) 881-2130 to learn more and schedule a consultation.

A picture of Patrick J. O’Neill, MD wearing his doctor attire.

About the Author

Upon completing medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, Dr. O’Neill completed nine years of residency training. These nine years included a full general surgery and a plastic surgery residency, both at the Medical University of South Carolina, and a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery. Dr. O’Neill has extensive certifications, training, skills, and knowledge that make him a successful physician who can carry out your next plastic surgery procedure. His expertise and technique will result in the beautiful and natural look you desire post surgery.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Plastic Surgery
Sub-Certification in Hand and Microsurgery

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