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Melasma is a skin condition that many have seen or experienced, though few have ever heard its name. Seen most often in pregnant women and often referred to as the “mask of pregnancy,” melasma is a condition that causes dark blotches to appear on the skin.

It can affect anyone but is most common in women and is thought to be brought about by surges in certain hormones. Melasma is mostly a cosmetic issue, and how much treatment it requires depends upon how much the individual wants to avoid the dark patches.

The most challenging part of melasma is that there is no cure available. The dark spots on the skin can only be treated temporarily to varying degrees, depending on certain factors.

There are two types of melasma: epidermal and dermal. Epidermal melasma appears in the top and middle layers of the skin and is generally lighter. Dermal melasma is a deep pigmentation of the skin and is more difficult to conceal or treat.

The longer a patch goes untreated, the darker, more prominent, and deeper in the skin it will become. For this reason, it’s best to keep an eye out for melasma and to begin treating it early.

Melasma is also worsened by exposure to sunlight, so it’s best to use strong, broad-spectrum sunscreens with additives like titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide.

The patches can be challenging to cover with makeup and will only get more complex over time. In addition, the patches spread wider and grow more profoundly as time passes, meaning that makeup only works so well for so long.

On top of this, the patches appear asymmetrically on the face, making concealment even more difficult. In addition, patches can appear in different places, and depending on your race and whether you’re a man or woman, you may be predisposed to melasma patches in certain areas.

At SkinRenew, we know that many women are affected by melasma. Seeking treatment is the best thing to do if you want to avoid darker patches later in life. We have a variety of treatments available to aid in lightening melasma and making it more easily concealable with makeup.

In combination with skin treatments and skincare, your melasma will lighten. Products that contain hydroquinone are used to bleach, hydrate, and exfoliate pigments that have been pushed up to the top layer of the skin.

SkinRenew also uses products from ZO Skin Health to combat melasma effectively. Gentle to medium peels, brightening facials, aquaglo facials, and many others are also available and can be pretty effective.

Ongoing treatments include combatting free radicals with liquid antioxidants, normalizing hormones to avoid further pigmentation and daily use of strong sunscreens.

Dealing with melasma is about continually protecting and maintaining your skin. We understand that dark blotches on the skin can be embarrassing and make you feel self-conscious—we have firsthand experience. So combat melasma early and visit us to learn which treatments are right for you.

Consultations are always free. Call 209.526.2200 or text us at 209.312.7880