Noticed any brownish or yellowish patches of skin on your face? What you’re seeing in the mirror could be melasma. This skin condition presents as a darkening around the eyes, forehead, bridge of nose, and cheeks. Melasma is a common skin disorder that affects an estimated six million people in the United States. In fact, 90% of those afflicted are women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Melasma is often associated with sun exposure but it’s also common in pregnant women, hence the nickname the “mask of pregnancy.” Other common triggers include estrogen supplements and birth control pills.
Four types of pigmentation patterns are diagnosed in melasma: epidermal, dermal, mixed, and an unnamed type found in dark-complexioned individuals. The epidermal type is identified by the presence of excess melanin in the superficial layers of skin. Dermal melasma is distinguished by the presence of melanophages (cells that ingest melanin) throughout the dermis. The mixed type includes both the epidermal and dermal type. In the fourth type, excess melanocytes are present in the skin of dark-skinned individuals.
In conjunction with Dermaworks skincare products, non-invasive, in-office treatments include chemical peels, vibradermabrasion, fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing, and laser skin treatments. Melasma is readily diagnosed by recognizing the typical appearance of brown skin patches on the face. During your initial consultation, Dr. Vassiliou will diagnose melasma by visually examining the skin and determine the appropriate treatment.
During a chemical peel, a chemical solution is applied to the skin and allowed to soak in. Over the next 1 to 14 days, depending on how deeply the chemical penetrated the skin, the skin peels off. This procedure removes parts of the skin in a controlled way so that new skin can grow in its place.
Vibradermabrasion is an effective and clinically proven topical skin treatment, utilizing a rapidly vibrating sterile paddle to remove layers of damaged skin tissue; leaving healthier and more radiant skin. Vibradermabrasion is the new way to do microdermabrasion. The process is fast, very comfortable for patients and produces exceptional results. 75-85% of the stratum corneum (top layer of non-living skin cells) is removed in minutes with no down time.
SmartXide Fractional CO2 is an excellent treatment for patients who wish to rejuvenate their skin without the lengthy recovery periods inherent in more invasive surgical procedures. Dr. Vassiliou is an expert in fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing and can provide you with the expertise to rejuvenate your skin without invasive surgery helping diminish your skin discoloration.
Laser skin treatment has helped millions of people target their hyperpigmentation problems. The laser emits a beam of light that is absorbed by melanin (pigment) in the skin breaking down the melanin in the skin removing the pigmented lesion (melasma). Final treatment results should be evident 10-21 days for pigmented lesions and sunscreen must be worn after the treatment.
On top of treatment, Dr. Vassiliou will also go over products from our line of medical grade skincare that are proven to lighten and brighten the skin. The following products are suitable for aiding in the fight against melasma.
Knowing how to treat your melasma can be overwhelming. Let us help. Contact us today to book your consultation with Dr. Vassiliou to develop your treatment plan.