MELASMA TREATMENT VANCOUVER: WHAT IS MELASMA?
Many patients in Vancouver look for the best melasma treatment due to their pigmentation after the summer. Melasma is a skin disorder characterized by brown to grey-brown facial patches. It usually appears on the forehead, chin, nasal bridge, cheeks, and above the upper lip. Women are more likely than men to experience it. Melasma frequently results from pregnancy. It also affects women who use hormone and oral contraceptives. Another significant factor that contributes to melasma is sun exposure. Over time, melasma usually lightens and darkens; it frequently gets better in the winter and worse in the summer.
Melasma affects 1.5% to 33% of the population and is more common in women during their reproductive years and infrequently occurs during adolescence. It typically begins in the age range of 20 to 40. Melanocytes, cells found in the epidermis, are responsible for producing and storing the dark pigment known as melanin. In melasma, skin darkens because the melanocytes produce more melanin in reaction to heat, light, UV radiation, or hormone stimulation.
MELASMA TREATMENT VANCOUVER: CAN MELASMA BE PREVENTED?
People who are predisposed to developing melasma because of their genetics, skin type, hormones, or amount of sun exposure cannot completely avoid developing the condition. By wearing high-SPF sunscreens, avoiding the sun and avoiding hormone medicines as much as possible, one can prevent outbreaks of melasma and lessen the likelihood that the condition will return following therapy. The cornerstone of any melasma treatment plan is strict sun protection.
MELASMA TREATMENT VANCOUVER | YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS
MEDICAL TREATMENT TO MELASMA
The medical management of melasma consists of two types of treatments:
Topical treatments like hydroquinone and retinoids are used to treat melasma. Effective topical therapies, primarily in the form of triple combinations (tretinoin 0.05%, hydroquinone 4%, and fluocinolone acetonide 0.01%) can be first-line therapy for melasma. If triple combinations are not available or patients are hypersensitive to them, dual ingredients or single agents may be considered.
One oral drug that has shown potential in the treatment of melasma is tranexamic acid. It functions by preventing melanin from being produced and lowering skin irritation. For thorough care of melasma, topical therapies can be combined with oral tranexamic acid.
IN-CLINIC TREATMENTS FOR MELASMA
Microneedling is a medical aesthetic treatment that involves the use of a device equipped with fine needles to create tiny punctures in the top layer of the skin. This minimally invasive technique aims to stimulate the body's natural wound healing processes, resulting in increased collagen, turnover of skin cells, and improvement of pigmentation. This is an effective treatment for melasma and can help reduce the appearance of scars, and stretch marks, and facilitate the overall rejuvenation of the skin.
Melasma can be effectively reduced in appearance using laser treatments in addition to medicinal management. High-energy light is directed toward the pigmented parts of the skin using laser therapies, which break down melanin and encourage the production of new, healthier skin cells. Picosecond devices at 1064nm such as Picture and Picoway are safe and effective for melasma treatments.
Exosomes are tiny vesicles released by cells that play a key role in cell-to-cell communication. They are believed to contain growth factors and proteins that can promote skin healing and rejuvenation. When applied topically, especially in conjunction with procedures like microneedling, exosomes may enhance the skin's natural healing response, potentially improving the appearance of pigmented skin, aging skin, reducing inflammation, and encouraging the repair of damaged skin.
Laser skin resurfacing is a popular cosmetic procedure that aims to rejuvenate the skin by reducing the appearance of wrinkles, scars, and blemishes, and improving overall skin texture and tone. Fraxel® DUAL laser and fractional CO2 lasers are notable options, each with its unique features and benefits. These options generally have more significant downtime. We highly suggest a consultation with a medical professional before proceeding.
WHICH SUNSCREEN SHOULD YOU USE?
Selecting a suitable sunscreen is crucial if you develop melasma. Research indicates that broad-spectrum tinted sunscreens with SPF greater than 30, and ingredients such as zinc oxide are efficient in protecting the skin against harmful UV rays. Sunscreens that contain iron oxide, can reduce the formation of pigment in the skin of melasma sufferers because they block UVA/UVB rays in addition to visible light. We carry multiple brands of medical-grade skin care at our clinic. This can be further discussed to suit your skin type.
- Provides daily multi-defense protection from UVA, UVB and HEV light
- ZOX12® complex provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage and the harmful effects of infrared (IR-A) rays
- Ultra-mild formula suitable for even the most sensitive skin types
- Soothes the skin and helps to minimize irritation
- Sheer, tinted sunscreen adapts to every skin tone.
- Water resistant for up to 40 minutes.
- Boosts radiance for a more even, luminous complexion.
- 100% physical sunscreen ingredients provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
- Increases skin’s resistance to UV- and heat-induced stress (based on in-vitro testing).
Melasma treatment requires consistency and maintenance at our clinic in Vancouver. For this, consulting an expert physician is crucial. At Sparrow MD, we offer the physician-guided consultations that you require to treat the condition of your skin. No one solution works for everyone, and what suits you may not suit someone else. Your safety and comfort are our top priorities as a team of skilled doctors and medical aestheticians. At Sparrow MD, our goal is to provide you with information that will empower you and support you in your skincare journey. Our doctors and skin care specialists will assess your skin type and pigmentation. Based on that, they will prepare individualized treatment regimens for you.
MELASMA TREATMENT PROTOCOL
Using broad-spectrum sunscreens with SPF greater than 30 can help prevent UV rays. These include zinc oxide and iron oxide sunscreens.
Topical treatments are the first line of therapy for melasma. These include non-hydroquinone-based skin lighteners, hydroquinone and tretinoin. They are often used in combination with oral therapies (tranexamic acid) to treat severe melasma. Other medical-grade products including azelaic acid, kojic acid, vitamin C serum and niacinamide may also be helpful.
IN CLINIC TREATMENTS
In clinic treatments like microneedling, exosomes, lasers, and skin resurfacing treatments can all be considered for melasma. These treatments can augment the effect of topical medications. The decision should be made based on your medical history, presentation and the suggestions of our doctors.
Tranexamic acid is an oral medication used to treat melasma. It functions by preventing melanin from being produced and lowering skin irritation. For more severe cases of melasma, topical therapies are frequently combined with oral tranexamic acid.
Maintenance therapy consists of a combination of topical treatments, in-clinic treatments, and potentially oral treatments. It depends on an individual’s severity of the condition. Our doctors make recommendations for maintenance treatments for your melasma in the long term to manage and treat the pigmentation.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The most typical places for melasma to appear are on your cheekbones, nose, chin, forehead, and above your top lip. Occasionally, it affects the back, neck, and arms.
Yes, melasma can cause pigmentation above the lips, often referred to as a "sun moustache." Sun exposure can also exacerbate melasma, leading to the development of these dark patches, including in the area above the upper lip.
Yes, pregnancy may cause melasma due to hormonal changes. Birth control can have similar effects.
After pregnancy, melasma can improve, but the extent and rate of improvement can vary significantly among individuals. It commonly depends on hormonal fluctuations, individual variation, sun exposure, and skin care treatments. You can generally proceed with treatments like microneedling, chemical peels and lasers after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The exact cause of melasma is complex and thought to be multifactorial, involving genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. Thyroid issues, sun exposure, pregnancy and hormonal medications like contraceptives can be triggers for melasma.
Treating melasma can be challenging, and it often requires a combination of approaches for effective management. Sun protection, topical lightening agents, microneedling, chemical peels, laser and light-based therapies, and oral therapies are all a part of melasma treatment.
Yes, it does. It functions by preventing melanin from being produced and lowering skin irritation.
Yes, it does. Studies have suggested that the severity of melasma is further improved by topical therapy combined with microneedling as opposed to topical therapy alone.
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