At Dermablue, we are Asheville’s premier provider of comprehensive solutions for the treatment of melasma, or ‘cholasma.’
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a common skin problem that is also known as ‘chloasma’. It causes brown patches on the face; most commonly appearing on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and above the upper lip. It can appear on other parts of the body which have a lot of sun exposure.
What Causes Melasma?
Hormone changes like pregnancy, often referred to as the ‘pregnancy mask’ along with sun exposure are the most common triggers for melasma. Although melasma may affect both men and women, the majority of those affected are women. Individuals of Latin or Asian ethnicity are also more likely to get melasma.
There have been many studies suggesting that the use of gentle, topical home care products and professionally applied treatments is the best way to prevent melasma, who are prone to this condition. At Dermablue, we prescribe our patient a daily care regimen with products that include a variety of the following ingredients will help suppress the formation of excess melanin through multiple mechanisms of action, delivering faster, more beneficial treatment outcomes:
Treatment options for Melasma
At Dermablue, we typically use a good quality sunscreen containing minerals like zinc and/or titanium to minimize UVA and UVB exposure, which prevents brown spots and melasma from returning. We also prescribe a gentle, natural product developed by Dr. LaMond, (link to skincare) ‘natural brightening serum’ to help prevent and correct melasma. It contains several natural skin brighteners which have been proven to correct browns and melasma:
- Arbutin, which is naturally found in blueberries, pears, bearberries and wheat, suppresses the activity of tyrosinase and inhibits melanosome maturation.
- Kojic acid, naturally found in soy and mushrooms, chelates copper bound to tyrosinase, and decreases the number of melanosomes and dendrites.
- Lactic acid is naturally found in milk and sugars. It suppresses the formation of tyrosinase.
- Azelaic acid can be found in many grains and castor beans. It provides anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects on melanocytes and inhibits tyrosinase.
At Dermablue, at times we use prescription products like Hydroquinone to treat melasma. This ingredient inhibits copper from binding with tyrosinase and induces melanocyte-specific cytotoxicity. Although it can be a surface irritant for some skin types, using hydroquinone at a lower percentage, such as a 2%, will help avoid any undo irritation or inflammation in the skin.
The Best Treatment for Melasma
- Reduces/eliminates appearance of melisma
- Long-term results
- No downtime
- Safe for all skin types
- Comfortable procedure
- No messy creams
At Dermablue, we offer Spectra Laser Toning which is the only FDA approved laser treatment for melasma. Spectra laser is a specific laser developed to treat only the darker/different colored melanin in your skin with a gentle laser energy which will tell your body to naturally remove the excess pigment/melanin cells. Because it doesn’t ‘heat’ up the skin like most traditional laser treatments, it will not make the condition worse. Because it is gentle, multiple treatments are needed in order to get the desired result. Spectra laser actually removes the upper layers of dark skin spots and encourages healthy growth of new skin as well as an increase in collagen in the affected area. In addition to overall evening out of skin tone/color, you will experience smoother, glowing, more youthful skin.