Tips for Fading Melasma (Chloasma) or Hyper Pigmentation

melasma pigmentationMelasma is a term for hyperpigmentation patches that appear on the skin as stains and brown patches.  Sun exposure and hormones trigger melasma. Pregnancy, the contraceptive pill, and some medicines eg antibiotics, or antidepressants, can increase the skin's sensitivity to UV and contribute to the overproduction of melanin causing the stained marks on the skin.

Management: wear sunscreen EVERY day, look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks out UVA and UVB. If you are serious about fading pigmentation, you MUST wear a good sunscreen EVERY day. Look for a professional formula that also includes antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals that contribute to sun damage in the skin. If you don't like wearing sunscreen or forget to put it on every day, don't even bother wasting your money on professional treatments, you're wasting your time. Sunscreen is an absolute minimum MUST DO if you want to see results. 

For your moisturizers, look for treatment creams that include vitamin C, B3/niacinamide, licorice, Centella Asiatica, vitamin A, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Green Tea. Serums with these ingredients will speed things up and deliver a more dramatic result. Layering a serum, treatment cream and sunscreen every day, will give you a more pronounced and consistent result. 

laser treatment for pigmentation
In-salon procedures that can help fade pigmentation include chemical peels (such as glycolic and/ or salicylic acid), microdermabrasion, laser or IPL. For pigmentation you will have to commit to a course of treatments, a one-off treatment will not miraculously clear the pigmentation. You have to be realistic, the damage has been there for years, it will not clear overnight.

Expect to be diligently working on pigmentation for several weeks to start seeing some results, and months before you can see dramatic improvements. Your aesthetician will be able to advise you which combination of treatments would be best suited for your skin. Look for professionals that have extensive experience treating pigmentation. 

Excellent results are achievable, but the minute you go back out in the sun, it will come back, so you must make long-term lifestyle changes and a firm commitment to achieve best results. When outdoors wear broad-spectrum sunscreen and a hat, and stay in shade. 

Treating pigmentation takes time, patience, persistence and consistency in treatments. Salon-only treatments can only do so much, don't expect miracles if you are not using professional strength skin care morning and night tailored to minimize pigmentation. You must be diligent with treating and protecting your skin every day and once you have achieved the best results possible for your skin, maintenance is essential. Continue to use quality professional strength skin care to maintain your results and have the beautiful skin you have dreamed of. 

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