Melasma, otherwise known as the mask of pregnancy, can show up in women and men who are not expecting to become pregnant. It typically appears on the face, and it’s one of the most difficult skin discolorations to eliminate. The good news is that there are treatments that can effectively fade the brown spots caused by melasma, but it’s important to be realistic about what those solutions are and what they might be able to do for you. Here are three of the best treatments for fading melasma marks naturally and without harmful chemicals or invasive procedures.
Isotretinoin, also known by its brand name Accutane, is a powerful medication used to treat acne. While it can be very effective, it can also have serious side effects. If you’re considering isotretinoin, be sure to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
One of the most effective treatments for melasma is laser therapy. Laser therapy uses concentrated light to break up melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. When used on melasma, laser therapy can help fade the dark spots and even out your skin tone.
Your dermatologist can help you find a laser that’s right for your skin. A lot of lasers work well on melasma, but not every laser works for every person with melasma, says Dr. Uyemura. You have to consider factors like skin type and color before you start treatment. But don’t take it from her: Ask other patients how their results went after undergoing treatment!
Ultraviolet light therapy is another option for people with melasma who aren’t interested in, or can’t afford, laser therapy. This treatment involves sitting under a special kind of ultraviolet light for short periods over several weeks or months.
If you’re looking for a more intensive treatment, you may want to consider a chemical peel. Chemical peels can help fade dark spots and even out skin tone. They work by exfoliating the top layer of skin, which helps to reduce the appearance of blemishes. There are different types of chemical peels, so be sure to consult with a dermatologist to find one that’s right for you.
There are a few different chemical peels available, including glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and salicylic acid. Each type has its own advantages and potential side effects, so ask your dermatologist for advice on which one may be best for you. It’s also important to note that chemical peels aren’t typically used in combination with laser therapy because they can cause dark spots or make skin discolouration worse. Instead, you’ll need a recovery period of two weeks or more after your peel before starting laser treatment.
Uncover Your Skin’s Potential: Your skin is capable of much more than you might realise.
Skin Lightening Creams (Hydroquinone based)
Hydroquinone is the most common and most effective ingredient for lightening dark spots. It works by inhibiting the production of melanin, which is what gives our skin its color. There are many hydroquinone-based creams on the market, but not all of them are created equal. Some brands use higher concentrations of hydroquinone than others, and some also add other ingredients that can boost results. If you’re looking for a hydroquinone-based cream to help fade your melasma, these are some of the best options out there.
Exfoliation. A smooth and healthy surface on your skin means your treatments can penetrate more effectively, and exfoliating will help unclog pores and remove dead skin cells that could be blocking your progress. Exfoliate with a gentle scrub two times per week, focusing on areas where melasma is present. You can also use an AHA or BHA exfoliant if your skincare routine already contains an exfoliant (but make sure it’s not too harsh, especially if you have sensitive skin).
If a hydroquinone-based cream isn’t giving you results fast enough, try adding in another treatment that can stimulate collagen production or fade dark spots even faster.
If you’re looking for an effective way to fade your melasma, tretinoin may be a good option for you. Tretinoin is a topical retinoid that’s been shown to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation. It works by increasing cell turnover and inhibiting melanin production. When used consistently, tretinoin can help lighten dark spots and even out your skin tone. Be sure to use a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 when using tretinoin, as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.