Ok, so let’s talk melasma.
Before we get into how we treat melasma, first and foremost, if you’re someone who has melasma, please understand how normal it is. It can really affect just about anyone. It primarily affects women, but it’s a condition that can occur for all kinds of people with any type of skin, including individuals with the most “perfect” skin.
And if you haven’t heard of melasma, basically it’s a discolouration of the skin, which usually appears darker than your skin tone and typically appears on the face (but it can also appear on other parts of the body). It typically affects areas of the skin that are the most exposed to the sun. We’re not quite talking sun spots here, but more like patchy areas of discolouration.
Melasma is generally more common in women during their pregnancy—it’s sometimes literally referred to as “the mask of pregnancy”—or when on hormonal birth control, or in women who have a thyroid condition. It’s definitely a skin condition that’s in large part impacted by hormones, which is why so many women experience it, but it can also be the result of sun damage or even stress.
Understandably, it’s a skin condition that has vexed the skincare world for so long. There is still a lot of disagreement out there about the best ways to treat melasma. As with most tricky skincare concerns, at MD Beauty Clinic we recommend a mix of in clinic treatments and at home products that we’ve seen the most success with when tackling melasma.
Microneedling Beauty Boosters to Treat Melasma
Our approach is always to start slow. We like to start with gentler treatments, see how it goes, and then we get more aggressive if we need to.
When it comes to melasma and pigmentation concerns, we’ve seen some very promising results with microneedling beauty booster treatments and especially with microneedling with PRP (platet-rich plasma) aka the Vampire Facial.
We generally always recommend starting off with a PRP treatment, as it’s one of the most natural treatments and has been so effective for a variety of skin concerns from acne scarring, skin texture and tone to fine lines and wrinkles and the improvement of the overall quality of your skin.
Microneedling with PRP uses a patient’s own plasma from their blood that is re-administered into the skin via a V2 gun in order to build collagen and stimulate skin cell turnover and regeneration. What we’ve found for our patients with melasma, is that PRP is so effective in brightening the complexion, therefore reducing the contrast between your skin tone and adverse pigmentation, and evening out the complexion overall.
That being said, when we choose microneedling as a way to treat melasma, we find it’s more effective with a combination treatment plan. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a single go-to treatment for melasma. It’s really a combination of different treatments and the right skincare products that’s going to reduce the visibility of the condition.
Can You Treat Melasma with Chemical Peels?
The same is true with our Miracle 10 Facial Peels. If you have recurring or persistent melasma, we strongly suggest regular facial peel treatments in order to help even out skin tone.
The thing with our facial peel treatments is that we can make them as gentle or as strong as they need to be depending on your needs and skin type. None of our treatments are one size fits all, and we love how much we’re able to totally customize this treatment to every individual patient. So if you have melasma but you also have dry or sensitive skin, or combination skin, or if your skin can tolerate alphahydroxy acids well, we can tailor everything to treat your discolouration concerns while taking care of your skin’s other needs.
Our Miracle 10 peel treatments are a combination of exfoliation therapy, dermaplaning, applying the chemical exfoliant, followed up with a very relaxing mask treatment, a dry ice treatment, and the perfect combo of serums and moisturizers to follow. It’s basically like a spa facial experience with the benefits of real results.
For our melasma patients we recommend a Miracle 10 facial peel treatment twice per month for the first month of treatment and then once per month for follow up in order to really help with this particular skin concern.
The Best Skincare to Treat Melasma
Along with in clinic treatments, an appropriate at-home skincare regime will also help reduce the visibility of melasma. In cases like these we typically recommend our Miracle 10 AHAs as they’ll help to brighten the complexion. Depending on the severity of the melasma, in order to really supercharge that brightening effect, Super C, which contains ascorbic acid, is also a key product.
Other key ingredients that we recommend to treat melasma are skincare products containing kojic acid, so our Miracle 10 Solutions I or II are a good option here, bear berry acid, as well as arbutin, which is present in our AHA Gel I.
And SPF! Sunscreen Lotion SPF30 is our favourite dry touch formula ever that doesn’t cause breakouts, is great for every skin type, and lets you apply makeup flawlessly, if that’s part of your routine. This goes without saying, but if you have melasma, please please wear sunscreen. And if you keep those areas of the skin most exposed to the sun at a minimum you’ll go a long way in not exacerbating the condition.
PicoWay Resolve: Laser Treatments to Treat Melasma
The tricky thing with melasma is that it’s not necessarily just a skin issue alone—there’s often an underlying hormonal issue that causes it. Sometimes when that hormonal issue is resolved, the melasma can actually go away on its own.
So if you have melasma due to pregnancy it can sometimes disappear after you’ve had your baby, or if you’re on birth control that’s causing the condition to flare, sometimes a switch in medication (or from medication to a different contraceptive) can help too.
That said, that’s really not always the case! So if you’re someone who’s dealing with a more stubborn or severe case of melasma we may also recommend a treatment like PicoWay Resolve.
PicoWay Resolve uses something called picosecond technology in order to basically break apart pigmented lesions or discolouration on the skin. Once those particles of pigment have been shattered, they’re slowly and naturally eliminated by your body. It’s the same principle behind laser tattoo removal, only it targets naturally occurring unwanted pigmentation in your skin.
It creates these tiny abrasions below the surface of the skin, creating the extra added advantage of collagen and elastin production being stimulated in your body. Because it works from the inside out in these deeper levels of the skin, downtime is typically very minimal, and the result is a much desired more even skin tone.
If you’re struggling to treat melasma, come chat with us! We have some tricks up our sleeves to help you get the result you’re looking for.