Pigmentation & Melasma
Melasma is a common skin condition, occurring mainly in women, which symmetrically affects the skin’s photo-exposed area.
Melasma is a chronic and recurring disorder that significantly impacts a patient’s social and professional life, and has a huge impact on an individual’s self-confidence. It presents as symmetrical darker patchy areas that can get worse after sun exposure, usually in darker skin types.
Melasma is commonly seen in women that have “unusual” or extreme hormonal factors, caused by:
- Birth control pill.
- Taking hormone replacement therapy.
Our Approach to Melasma
Understanding The Condition
Our approach comes from the aim to understand the root cause of this disorder and applying integrative medical principles treating each patient in a personalised manner. Intriguingly, melasma seems to have a hereditary component, regardless of gender.
A study showed that 70% of Latino men with melasma also had a family member with this condition, proving a hereditary component. Additionally, the presence of xenoestrogens, inflammation, UV radiation, higher binding capacity of receptors in the skin for hormones (even in normal hormone production) can all contribute to melasma.
Management of Melasma
At 8th Sense we consider all possible causes when we prescribe a personalised treatment tailored to each client. This often includes lifestyle changes and medical detoxification combined with topical products and creams:
- Topical creams to prevent further melanin formation and to lighten current pigmented areas.
- Chemical peels and laser to treat unwanted melanin in the cells (ClearLift laser).
- Avoiding sun exposure.
- Avoiding toxic estrogen and xenoestrogens from the environment (phthalates, parabens, epoxides present in personal body care).
- Detoxification support.
- Consuming organic food and using organic skincare products.
- β-receptor agonists.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIHP)
PIHP dark spots can appear in areas where skin was injured or inflamed. It is a temporary condition.
Dark patches are localised at the site of the original disease after it has healed. The lesions can be light brown to black in colour and may become darker if exposed to sunlight (UV rays).
- Reducing inflammation – using topical natural anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants. A variety of topical treatments are available to lighten/bleach hyperpigmented lesions usually in combination with other treatments.
- Treating melanin in cells – this is a physical treatment that needs to be carefully and conservatively applied as it can sometimes worsen the condition. We usually suggest Laser therapies (IPL), Chemical Peels or Cryotherapy.
- Prevent further melanin formation – We can administer topical ingredients that are known to inhibit this process (kojic acid, arbutin, licorice extracts, mequinol, niacinamide, N-acetyl glucosamine, azelaic acid, etc.
These are areas of skin discoloration that can be varying shades of brown, caused by UV radiation.
They appear on the parts of the body that get the most sun exposure, such as the face, backs of the hands, shoulders, back, etc. They usually appear around the age of 40 and they are benign but are a cosmetic concern. However, any pigmented spot that grows quickly, changes in appearance, or seems unusual should be evaluated by a doctor.
Sunspots should be distinguished from freckles, which are inherited features. Sunspots are more prominent in the summer and fade in the winter. Unlike sunspots, freckles become less noticeable as you age.