Before And After Melasma Treatment
As the top provider of Melasma removal in Toronto, the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic provides painless services for removing these unsightly blemishes and restoring your confidence. Since this skin condition typically develops over time, we recommend you take quick action to treating it. Our Melasma removal treatment will get rid of all traces of Melasma, but we also recommend covering up and wearing sunscreen outdoors for additional protection.
What Is Melasma?
Melasma is a skin condition usually seen in women and is characterized by darker patches of skin. These patches often appear on the cheeks, upper lip, chin, and forehead and are generally the result of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy. Commonly called the “pregnancy mask”, in most cases Melasma disappears after delivery. However, in a small percentage, the condition remains on the face. Melasma is also common in pre-menopausal women. Women with a light brown skin type who are living in regions with intense sun exposure are particularly susceptible to developing this condition.
Melasma Symptoms & Types
Melasma does not typically come with any uncomfortable or painful symptoms. The condition is entirely cosmetic, and it only affects the appearance of the skin. It is not associated with skin cancer (melanoma) although any unusual developments of skin ailments should be checked out by a health professional or dermatologist. The symptoms of Melasma include dark, irregular, or distinguished patches on the skin, which appear gradually over time. Since this condition affects skin, especially on the face, many women become frustrated and embarrassed about the appearance of skin. Although this is not directly caused by Melasma, the fear of interacting with others and self-conscious association with the skin condition can lead to minor negative psychological effects.
There are four types of Melasma:
- Epidermal (upper layers of the skin)
- Dermal (layer of skin underneath the epidermis)
- A fourth unnamed type, more often found in patients with darker skin tones
What Causes Melasma?
Melasma is caused by excessive melanin, the natural substance in cells that give colour to skin, hair and eyes. It is primarily caused by hormonal changes and prolonged sun exposure. Other causes may include thyroid disease, irritating cosmetic products, Addison’s disease, pregnancy (hormonal changes and stress), and a genetic predisposition to Melasma. Using birth control pills or hormone therapy can also trigger the skin condition. Aside from these associations, the clear cause of Melasma is unknown.
Melasma usually gets darker with heat exposure such as sun or IPL treatments. Although IPL photo facials may improve skin with sun damage or hyperpigmentation, it will make it worse and darker if the condition is Melasma. A licensed professional should easily be able to identify the difference between the conditions of Melasma and sun spots and avoid treating Melasma with IPL to so that the condition doesn’t worsen.
Melasma Treatment That Works
Some women have found that their Melasma disappears on its own, especially when the cause was attributed to hormonal changes from birth control pills and pregnancy. In cases where the condition is not clearing up on its own, there are solutions for effective and permanent treatment.
The Anti Aging Clinic in Toronto specializes in eliminating or reducing Melasma, providing the perfect melasma solution using laser technology. Although there are no quick fixes for Melasma, our treatment is a combination of two procedures that alternate weekly, in general for up to 10 weeks as needed. They are non-invasive and provide tremendous benefits. The two types of treatment we provide include the Laser Spectra Peel and Laser Toning. This combination of treatments is our most effective method for removing Melasma and provides the following results:
- Long term results, on both affected layers of the skin (dermis and epidermis)
- Evens out skin tone
- No downtime
- Safe for most skin types (we will only perform procedures on skin types that are safe)
- Comfortable procedure
- No messy creams
This special treatment is the equivalent of four chemical peels in one, without the complications and less pain. This treatment removes the epidermis gently and safely, allowing new, healthy, toned skin cells to grow in its place. The treatment resurfaces your face to turn back years of aging, Melasma damage, and sun damage. It has also been used to treat inflamed acne, loose skin, uneven texture and tone, acne scars, freckles, age spots, and enlarged pores for a more vibrant and youthful look. It does not require medication, has a short recovery period, it is more affordable than other invasive treatments, and provides long-term results you will love. This part of the treatment takes two hours.
The second part of our Melasma treatment process is Laser Toning. This involves the application of specialized laser energy to reduce visible skin pigmentation. It events out the skin tone and improves skin’s texture for a smoother, clearer complexion. It targets the melanin by breaking up the damaged cells, so the body can naturally eliminate them to make way for fresh, new cells. This fragment of the session takes about 15 minutes.
What to Expect During the Treatment
The Laser Spectra Peel procedure usually takes about two hours depending on the location and severity of your Melasma, and includes the following steps:
- Cleansing and toning of your face
- Application of a light layer of Spectra Lotion to your skin, this lotion has a carbon base, so your skin will appear muddy
- Warming up of the carbon-based lotion under a steamer
- Application of laser energy to your skin; you will hear a slight snapping sound when the laser is fired, and you may feel a tingling or warmth sensation
- Multiple passes with the laser at different setting are required during each treatment
- Your face will be then cool down with the most appropriate method, such as cold towel or gel mask
- Application of antibacterial and moisturizers as required
- Finally, the application of sunscreen lotion
As a result of this treatment combo, you will achieve glowing, youthful skin; improved tone; a smoother feeling; improved complexion as scars are removed; and tighter, less visible pores; in addition to removing Melasma from your face.
FAQs about Melasma
1. Is Melasma common?
Many women deal with Melasma at some point in their lives. Although it is not a women-only condition, it has been known to affect pregnant women, women on birth control, and women of a darker skin tone.
2. How do I know if I have Melasma?
If you notice darker patches of skin across your cheek, nose, forehead, or upper lip and have recently been experiencing hormonal changes or high levels of stress, you may have Melasma.
3. Is Melasma considered cancer?
It is important to note that Melasma is not associated with skin cancer. It is not a serious issue to your health, but it can get worse in terms of it’s cosmetic appearance. If you are unsure if you have Melasma, speak with your health professional or dermatologist to get a more confirmed diagnosis.
4. Can Melasma be caused by stress?
High levels of stress can send hormones skyrocketing, and this is why stress is a possible cause of Melasma.
5. Can Melasma be treated with a laser?
Yes, our Spectra Peel Laser treatment has proven to bring our clients long-term relief from their Melasma.
6. Is Melasma hereditary?
Although a genetic predisposition of Melasma does not guarantee you will suffer from the skin condition, it does increase your chances.
7. Is Melasma the same as hyperpigmentation?
Yes. Hyperpigmentation is the primary sign of Melasma.
8. Can Mirena (IUD) cause Melasma?
Birth control changes the hormones in a woman’s body and sometimes it causes instabilities that lead to mood swings, skin problems like Melasma, and more. However, some women have found that birth control stabilizes their hormonal changes. Some women who have used the IUD (intrauterine device) reported that it has improved their Melasma since it only distributes hormones to the targeted area, rather than the entire body. Mirena, a brand of IUDs, may not directly cause or cure Melasma, but each woman responds differently to hormonal changes, even in the form of birth control.