Dermatologist in Lithia for Melasma Treatment
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a common skin condition that presents in the form of brown or gray spots, which develop predominantly on the face. This is not an infection, allergy, or a form of cancer. The cause isn’t clear but there are some who are affected more often than others. Most of those who develop melasma are women, and it does seem that the condition runs in families. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests “(p)eople with darker skin, such as those of Latin/Hispanic, North African, African-American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean descent are more likely to get melasma.” https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/color-problems/melasma#causes
Some of the triggers for melasma include:
- Sun Exposure: Ultraviolet light from the sun affects the cells in your skin that make color.
- Tanning Beds
- Pregnancy or other hormonal changes
- Irritating skin products including cosmetics and perfumes
- Thyroid disease
Melasma appears as dark spots, either brown or gray. Typically these spots are visible on the face, generally on the cheeks, the forehead, the nose, the chin, and the upper lip. Melasma can also present on the neck and the forearms. The patches are the only known symptom.
Doctors are generally able to diagnose melasma visually, however, it can resemble other skin conditions. Your dermatologist may choose to conduct a skin biopsy, removing a layer of skin for testing. Another option is to utilize a Wood’s lamp, a procedure that uses light to look for infections. This is also known as the ultraviolet test or black light test. Your doctor will use this small, handheld device to shine light onto the skin in a darkened room. Certain types of bacteria and fungi will change color under the light.
Melasma Treatment in Valrico and Lithia, FL
Treatment for melasma may include the use of lightening agent in a cream, lotion, gel, or liquid formulation. There are also procedures that your dermatologist can perform including a chemical peel, microdermabrasion, a laser treatment, or a light-based procedure.
Melasma can fade in time; however, some people are affected long term or even throughout their lives. Sun exposure causes challenges for those with melasma as exposure may trigger repeated episodes. Melasma tends to worsen during the summer months. Sunscreen and protective clothing are recommended, especially when you’ll be in the sun for extended periods of time.
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