Melasma is a common skin pigmentation condition where brown to grey patches appear on the skin, typically on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin.
It occurs predominantly in women with only 10% of men having this condition. Melasma is also known as chloasma and it is common in post-pregnancy females. This is also why it is also referred to as a “mask of pregnancy”.
The causes for melasma are multifactorial and they include, sun damage, hormonal and inflammatory (increased mast cell activity) factors, increased vascularity, plus the disruption of the basement membrane and skin barrier function.
Prevention is often your best bet against sun-damage related melasma. In terms of treatment, one option is to use topical creams to try and lighten the pigmentation. These could work on mild cases of melasma, but results will take time to show. At the same time, you could also use makeup to first colour correct the affected area and then conceal it. This could work well if the affected areas are small and the pigmentation condition is not as severe.
Medical treatment is often the most effective option to address the issue of melasma. The treatment involved is often multimodal. Lasers can be used to reduce pigmentation, vascularity and inflammation. A newer concept of restoring basement membrane integrity to prevent the relapse of Melasma can be achieved with a pulsed RF device called Slyfirm. Post-laser treatment, you will also need to ensure you practise sun protection and use the prescribed topical lightening agents and moisturisers. We offer various types of laser treatments which can be customised to your condition and needs.