Have you noticed any dark spots on your face and wish you could get rid of them? You’re not alone, it’s so common that there’s a scientific term for it – melasma. Before, only expensive laser treatments and prescription creams were the only options, but now there are affordable creams available over-the-counter that are clinically proven to remove dark spots in a matter of weeks!
What is Melasma
Melasma is a hyperpigmentation of the skin on the face, cheeks, chin, or even neck. It comes in the form of light or dark brown spots.
The exact cause of this blemish is still unclear. However, it usually appears after continuous sun exposure without the use of sunscreen. Genetic factors, however, are also among its causes, as well as an imbalance of female hormones. The appearance of melasma is common especially during pregnancy.
Medications and topical treatments
Dermatologists prescribe medications or topical treatments to help lighten melasma. Some commonly used options are topical retinols and retinoid treatments, which are applied to the skin to help speed your body’s natural cell turnover process which helps dark patches lighten back to the natural skin tone.
Nowadays, there are many over-the-counter options that are just as strong and effective at treating melasma as a prescription cream.
In addition to creams, some doctors may prescribe bleaching agents, such as hydroquinone, which works by blocking melanin production.
Products with kojic acid or azelaic acid also prove to be effective, which are other topical skin lightening agents.
Other treatments that are sometimes recommended for melasma include chemical peels, laser treatments, and skin microneedling.
There’s more you can do on your own to help your skin heal and prevent future damage. In addition to reducing sun exposure, try these steps:
Find a treatment that works for you. Whether it’s finding the right cream or topical treatment, or if laser therapy is right for you, stick with it to see results.
Establish a good cleansing regimen. Environmental pollution can contribute to melasma. Airborne pollutants can bind to the skin and corrode the protective surface, making it weaker and more susceptible to sun damage. Clean your skin every night before bed with a cleanser that can thoroughly remove particulate matter and help protect the skin, she says.
Combat skin stress with antioxidants. Vitamins C and E can help heal damage from sunlight. So, dab on a few drops of a serum that contains these vitamins to improve skin health and ward off the harmful effects of sun exposure.
Moisturize your skin regularly. Use a good moisturizer after the serum to restore the lipid (fat) barrier of the skin, which helps to protect it from damage.
Be patient. Even with treatment, it may take months for melasma to clear up. There’s no overnight fix.
Be diligent. Melasma will be quick to return if you’re not careful about sun protection. So, long-term maintenance requires an ongoing commitment to protecting your skin.