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  • Coralee Shaman LPN

Melasma and the Sun

I have written about the importance of applying sunscreen every time you go out into the sun, and this is particularly important if you have melasma. Melasma is a common skin condition that’s more stubborn to treat than other forms of hyperpigmentation.

Melasma appears as asymmetric brown or grey patches on the face; it usually appears on the cheeks, the bridge of the nose, the forehead, above the upper lip and the chin. It’s a pigmentary condition that tends to affect many women. It has also been referred to as “pregnancy mask.” Pregnancy, sun exposure and hormonal fluctuations are thought to be the major triggers.

Melasma is more prevalent in people who have darker skin. This includes people with Hispanic, East Indian, Asian, African or Mediterranean ancestry. It makes sense that people of colour are more prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes than fair-skinned people.

People with melasma will notice that the condition worsens during the summer months. I tell my clients with melasma to be diligent about applying sunscreen. I suggest you read my article “Here comes the sun: Are you ready?” for tips about the proper application of a high SPF sunscreen and other tips on how to protect your skin.

If you have melasma, there are treatment options. Every client is unique and requires a customized treatment, but I consistently get good results when using chemical peels and topical products to treat clients with melasma.

For mild cases of melasma, a few consecutive Jessner peels can be very effective. Jessner peels work by removing the damaged outer layers of the skin. With the outer layer of skin exfoliated, a new skin layer is revealed with improved colour and texture.

This particular chemical peel takes 20 to 30 minutes and is self-neutralizing. This treatment is strong enough to be effective but gentle enough to be comfortable. Contact me today to set up a free consultation.

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