Melasma is one of the most complex conditions we treat at Skin Ritual. Every case of melasma is slightly different, because every skin is slightly different. For this reason, we don't believe in a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Melasma is complicated and unpredictable, and successful treatment does take time and patience.
Why Does Melasma Happen?
The causes of melasma are still under debate, but at this stage there are several key factors involved in the development of this skin condition:
UV (sun) exposure
Change in hormonal contraceptive (oral contraceptive pill, Mirena, Jadelle, etc)
Pregnancy/Menopause/Hormone therapy (things that cause a shift in our hormonal state)
Weakened DEJ due to UV exposure (the membrane that sits between our dermis and epidermis)
Every case of melasma is slightly different, and triggers vary from person to person - its important to try to identify early on what the trigger is/was, to avoid further development of melasma.
How Do You Treat Melasma?
We always begin with a skin consultation. This allows us to sit down and chat with you about your skin, and explain all the treatment options available to you. We do a skin assessment, test your skin sensitivity level, and go through your skincare routine with you to make sure everything you are using is appropriate for use while treating melasma.
Typically when treating melasma, step one is to reduce UV exposure as much as possible, and control/regulate the production of melanin within the skin. We do this by prescribing topical nutrients that inhibit the melanin production process (in the form of serums), and high quality physical sunscreens to ensure the best possible protection.
Once the skin is well-prepped with active pigment-inhibiting products at home (usually for at least 2-4 weeks), we can look at beginning clinical peels. Usually we opt for combinations of lactic acid, TCA (trichloroacetic acid), mandelic acid, kojic acid, and retinol. We begin with lower strength peeling options, and gradually increase the strength of treatments as the skin builds a tolerance to the active ingredients.
It's important to understand that when treating melasma, "cure" is not the goal. Recurrence is always possible with melasma, so the goal with clinical treatment is reduction and management. We want to get the skin to a point where the melasma is least visible, or even not visible at all to the naked eye. However, with UV exposure/hormonal changes/age, it is ALWAYS possible that melasma will darken again, which is why treating this condition is really a lifelong commitment to good sun protection and using good skincare at home.
Where Do I Start?
Start by booking a skin consultation with us - we'll take it from there. Melasma is a difficult thing to go through, but with professional guidance and clinical care, it's a lot easier. Our skin therapists are highly trained and undergo regular continued education to ensure we are giving our clients the best possible care, every time - so you can relax, knowing you're in the best of hands.