“Out, Damned Spot!” The Stubborn Journey of Melasma

Asian woman looking at her acne in mirror
Susie Hamilton Lutronic Skin Specialist headshot
Susie Hamilton
Lutronic Skin Specialist
Published On: October 25, 2022
Treatments: , ,

Having worked in aesthetics for over 25 years, I have treated many different skin conditions, with Melasma being a very common complaint. Greek in origin, the word “Melasma” loosely translates as “black spot”, a testament to the stubbornness of the condition.

Appearing most commonly across the forehead, cheeks and upper lip, Melasma is different from other forms of hyperpigmentation in that not only is it exacerbated by ultraviolet light, but it is hormonally-induced, making it extremely difficult to treat successfully.

Who is at risk of getting Melasma?

While ¹Melasma can affect up to 33% of the population, women are at a much higher risk of having it than men, who only make up about 10% of the 33%. 15% to 50% of pregnant women experience Melasma (commonly referred to as “pregnancy mask”, which usually fades post-pregnancy) and it is most common during a woman’s reproductive years, typically appearing between 20-40 years of age. Oral contraceptives can also put women at a higher risk of Melasma due to the increase in estrogen and progesterone, which are believed to be the hormones that contribute to the condition. Individuals with darker skin types are also more likely to experience Melasma due to the increased melanin in their skin. People with hypothyroidism can be at higher risk for Melasma as well, due to the hormonal imbalances caused by an underactive thyroid.

¹Source: Cleveland Clinic – Melasma

Why does my Melasma seem to fade and come back?

Anyone who has seen their Melasma improve only to have it ultimately return knows the frustration of trying to treat it. Because there are so many contributing factors, and the strong role that hormonal fluctuations play in the condition, it is notoriously problematic to get under control and keep under control. While it can occur at any time of the year, most individuals will experience a rebound in their Melasma over the summer months, when it is exacerbated by the heat and sun, and see it fade in the winter months. But regardless of the season or the weather, it’s extremely important to wear a broad-spectrum SPF every day to minimize the negative effects of UV radiation as much as possible.

I wear SPF daily, but is there anything else I can do to improve my Melasma?

With the last days of summer fun in the sun behind us and the holidays looming ahead, many people are looking to laser treatments to fade their Melasma and improve their overall complexion.

Is there a laser that is safe for treating Melasma?

The Lutronic Hollywood Spectra is the first short-pulse laser to earn FDA clearance for treating Melasma and can be used on all skin types. Not only will you see an improvement in your Melasma, but with its collagen-stimulating capabilities, a series of Hollywood Spectra treatments will leave your skin looking brighter and clearer, with a reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!

If you are suffering from Melasma, just know that you’re not alone. And while there is no cure, it is treatable and controllable.

If you’re a patient looking to come up with a Melasma treatment plan that is right for you, you can find your local Hollywood Spectra provider on the Lutronic website HERE. Be sure to choose “pigment” under the treatments drop-down menu.

If you’re a provider looking for more information on the Lutronic Hollywood Spectra, please send us a message HERE.

Lutronic Spectra Melasma B&A

Before and after images of Lutronic Spectra melasma treatment

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