Help to Control Melasma
By Kimberly Lovato, Licensed Skin Care Specialist, Acne Specialist, Product Formulator, Owner/Founder
For anyone struggling with melasma, a chronic pigmentation disorder, you already know – it can be hard to treat. There is no definitive cure for melasma; however, there is good news. In recent years, new studies and effective treatments have surfaced yielding great results and offering hope in the management of melasma.
Melasma is often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ because surging hormones can trigger it. Pigmentation often appears on the forehead, upper lip, and cheeks. The intensity also varies from person to person. This skin condition can be prevalent during any hormonal stage in life. Although it tends to be much more common in women, melasma can also affect men as well.
When it comes to learning how to control melasma, you first need to limit the catalysts for melanin production and increase melanin controlling agents. The issue is that the catalysts tend to outweigh the control mechanisms. And the longer the pigmentation remains untreated, the more deep-rooted melasma can become.
One common product often used for treating melasma is 4% hydroquinone. This is a highly controversial product and we do not support using it. It has been banned in Japan, European Nation and in Australia.
Typical Melasma Activators Can Be:
Oral Contraception – birth control methods with higher amounts of estrogen can be a melasma trigger. However, if you are acne-prone and have melasma, it is best to choose a fertility monitor such as Daysy Fertility Tracker since low estrogen birth control increases oil production in the pores leading to acne.
Sun Exposure – this is a big concern for individuals who suffer from melasma because ultraviolet rays affect the cells, also called melanocytes, that control pigment. And just when you think you are making progress with lightening melasma, sun exposure can re-trigger it quickly, eliminating the progress you had made in the first place. Always wear a broad-spectrum, physical sunscreen to help protect your skin from further damage.
Diet – In controlling melasma, it is important to stay cool on the inside as well. Spicy foods can kick up your inner temperature resulting in adding fuel to the fire of melasma. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce melasma, increase energy, and your immune system.
Exercise – Melasma sufferers should avoid hot yoga (regular yoga is great), steam rooms, and saunas. The key is to not overheat too much; extreme heat exacerbates melasma – it stimulates melanocytes. Stick with light to moderate regular exercise.
Low Zinc Levels – Studies show low zinc levels are common amongst individuals who are experiencing melasma. A daily supplement of 30mg can help control melasma, but always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement or dietary change.
Conventional Wines – Interesting, right? If you like to enjoy a glass of wine, it would be wise to stay with natural wines. Conventional wines have additives that affect the skin, especially melasma.
Strategies for Managing Melasma
At the ABQ Skin Care & Acne Clinic, we use methods such as microneedling and gentle peels to help lift and break up unwanted pigmentation. Microneedling creates gentle trauma to the layers of the skin where melasma permeates. As the white blood cells rush in to heal and repair the area, they create collagen, smoothing the texture of the skin, filling in scars, and lightening the skin tone.
Effective peels for melasma utilize mandelic and arbutin to help inhibit melanin production while safely lightening the skin.
We offer Clear Path Skin Care products to help aid in the fight against melasma. The right type of products offer lightening benefits and a level of stabilization to help control melasma.
Clear Path Activated Serum with mandelic acid and niacinamide are melanin-inhibiting ingredients that presents micro-exfoliating properties. They also reduce redness, and inflammation in the skin.
Clear Path Vitamin C Serum is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fade pigmentation, inhibits melanin production, brightens the skin and is an excellent anti-inflammatory ingredient with significant anti-aging benefits.
Clear Path Vitamin A Level 2, encourages cell turnover and also inhibits melanin production, lightens and rejuvenates the skin by removing dead skin cells. Not only does vitamin A combat melasma, it is a must-have in the age management arsenal.
With this triple-action formula, we will soon have you on your way to flawless skin. Contact the ABQ Skin Care & Acne Clinic for more information. 505.369.1680, ABQSkinCareAndAcneClinic.com.
Wow! My skin has NEVER looked better! I’ve struggled my whole life with moderate-severe cystic acne and everything that comes with it: redness, scarring, swelling, painful blemishes etc. The ABQ Acne clinic and their wonderful team has taught me how to be in control of my skin and I have never felt so confident! – M.B., ABQ
Don’t wait like I did to take care of your skin. Having suffered from acne since I was 12, I’m now learning how to take good care of my skin. Within 4 months, my skin has gone through a remarkable transformation. Adina is a sweetheart and gives me the confidence to work hard on my diet and routine. I am grateful for their professionalism. – C.A., ABQ