Melasma and Hyperpigmentation: Causes and Treatments


Melasma is a common, chronic condition that results in spotty hyperpigmentation. Pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement treatments and thyroid disorder can all trigger melasma
and sun exposure can make it worse.

Melasma is more common in women, usually with an onset between the ages of 20 and 40. It is more common in people who tan easily or who have naturally dark skin.

The pigmentation results from an overproduction of melanin. Avoiding sun exposure and continuous sunscreen use is very important to prevent flares. Therapy is aimed at suppressing melanin production.

There is no cure for melasma and it is prone to episodic flares. Many different treatments have been tried and often a multifaceted approach is required. Mask wear has predisposed people to melasma mustaches and women find this particularly frustrating.

Lasers, IPL Photofacial, microneedling have all been used and unfortunately, sometimes have worsened the conditions.

Chemical peels are often used to help with melasma. A set of peels is often the most beneficial for best results.

Hydroquinone, retinoids and topical steroids can be used at home to suppress melanin production. Hydroquinone is not available in Europe as it is potentially carcinogenic. Retinoids, which are vitamin A derivatives, promote cell turnover and help suppress melasma. Dermatitis is
a potential side effect of hydroquinone and retinoids.

Several agents have been studied and found to improve melasma. Glutathione, kojic acid, vitamin C, licorice extract, tranexamic acid and arbutin have all been found to be helpful. Niacinamide or vitamin B3 stimulates collagen synthesis, acts as an antioxidant and humectant.
It can reduce pore size, reduce redness and hyperpigmentation.

At Inner Glow AestheticsMD we have created a cocktail of hyaluronate, which keeps moisture locked into the skin, combined with several ingredients shown to help hyperpigmentation. They are mixed together and applied into the skin using a painless micro injection device. Our
Pigment Correcting Glow Treatment will even out the skin tone and the correct at home skin maintenance will keep you glowing.