Melasma is a benign condition where dark spots of discoloration form on skin that is exposed to the sun. This pigmentation is caused by excessive melanin levels. Melasma occurs more generally in women, especially during pregnancy. For this reason, it is referred to as a "pregnancy mask."
It is important to understand the causal process involved behind the scenes, so to speak. There are many treatments available. Patients can also opt for PiQo4 laser treatment for melasma in Charlotte, NC. But without the right level of understanding, it will be difficult to determine which one makes sense.
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Causes of melasma.
Like many other skin problems, Melasma is caused by a genetic tendency. In other words, the instance of conditions often runs in the family. Also with identical twins, the occurrence of brown macules will occur in both siblings.
This genetic predisposition regulates the physiological conditions that dictate the way the skin responds to sun exposure.
Fluctuations at the level of estrogen and progesterone, for example, are concurrent with the manifestation of melasmic macules.
Melanin comes from a special structure in skin cells called Melanocytes. They become very active when the skin is exposed to sunlight and produces high melanin concentrations.
Care for melasma.
Because melasma is a pigment disorder, it is important for treatments to address the condition at the level of melanin, present in the epidermis and the dermis.
Hydroquinone is a topical cream, available by prescription, that decreases the activity of the biochemical process involved in producing the melanin. The standard concentration of effectiveness is 2-4%.
Cosmetic lasers can also address melasma by eradicating the structures within the skin cells containing melanin. Examples include Fraxel Dual and Nd: YAG 1064 laser.