melasma treatment at Amrican Medical Center UAE

Melasma treatment in Dubai


Melasma is a common skin condition characterized by the development of brown or gray-brown patches on the face, particularly on the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, and upper lip. It predominantly affects women, although men can also be affected.
Melasma is thought to be triggered by a combination of factors, including hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy or with the use of hormonal contraceptives), sun exposure, and genetic predisposition. The exact cause is not fully understood. However, it is known that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun stimulates the production of melanin, which contributes to the appearance of melasma.
The condition is usually harmless and does not have any associated symptoms other than the appearance of dark patches on the skin. While it does not require medical treatment, some people may choose to seek treatment for cosmetic reasons or to manage the appearance of the patches.
Treatment options for melasma include topical medications (such as hydroquinone, retinoids, corticosteroids, or azelaic acid), chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, and strict sun protection measures (such as using sunscreen with a high SPF, wearing hats, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure).
It’s important to consult with a dermatologist or healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options if you suspect you have melasma or any other skin condition.

Understanding Melasma

Types of Melasma

There are different types of melasma,
The most common types are epidermal, dermal, and mixed. Epidermal melasma affects the upper layer of the skin and typically presents as dark brown patches with well-defined borders.
Dermal melasma, on the other hand, affects the deeper layer of the skin and appears as blue-gray patches with less defined borders.
Mixed melasma is a combination of both epidermal and dermal types and presents as a mix of dark brown and blue-gray patches.
Knowing the specific type of melasma can help dermatologists create a personalized treatment plan for their patients.

Prevention of Melasma

1. Sun Protection

Sun protection is essential for individuals with melasma, a common skin condition characterized by hyperpigmentation or dark patches on the face. This condition is often triggered by sun exposure, hormonal changes, and certain medications. To prevent melasma from worsening and to promote healing, using broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 is highly recommended. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat or staying in the shade during peak sunlight hours can also provide necessary protection. Consistent and proper sun protection can significantly improve the appearance of melasma and prevent its recurrence.

2. Hormonal Balance

Hormonal balance plays a critical role in the development of melasma, a common skin condition characterized by brown patches on the face. In women, melasma often occurs during pregnancy or when taking hormonal contraceptives. These hormones stimulate the increased production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, leading to the formation of unwanted dark patches on the skin. However, by maintaining a healthy hormonal balance, women can effectively prevent and treat melasma.

Some ways of doing this include maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and reducing stress levels. Additionally, topical creams containing ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, or alpha hydroxy acids can help even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of melasma. By taking proactive steps to promote hormonal balance, women can protect their skin from melasma and maintain a clear, healthy complexion.

3. Skin Care routine for melasma.

When it comes to managing melasma, it’s important to adopt a gentle and consistent skincare routine that focuses on protecting your skin from the sun and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Here’s a suggested skincare routine for melasma:

Cleanse: Use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils. Look for a mild, non-foaming cleanser that is free from harsh ingredients like sulfates. Cleansing should be done twice daily, in the morning and evening.

Exfoliate: Choose a chemical exfoliant, such as an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or beta hydroxy acid (BHA) product. AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid can help exfoliate the skin’s surface and improve overall texture. BHAs like salicylic acid can penetrate deeper into the pores, unclog them, and reduce pigmentation. Start with a low concentration and gradually increase as your skin tolerates it. Exfoliate 2-3 times per week.

Treat: Look for skincare products containing ingredients that help fade hyperpigmentation. Some effective options include:

Hydroquinone: A skin-lightening agent that inhibits melanin production. However, it may cause skin irritation in some individuals, so it’s best to use it under the guidance of a dermatologist.

Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that can help even out skin tone and brighten the complexion. Look for stable forms of vitamin C like ascorbic acid or its derivatives.

Niacinamide: Helps reduce the production of melanin and improves overall skin tone.

Kojic acid: A natural ingredient that inhibits melanin production and can be effective in lightening dark spots.

Azelaic acid: Helps to reduce pigmentation and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Moisturize: Choose a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin type and provides hydration without clogging pores. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides to maintain skin moisture.

Sunscreen: Sun protection is crucial in managing melasma. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 or higher every day, even when it’s cloudy. Look for physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they provide a barrier against UV rays. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re exposed to direct sunlight.

Lifestyle considerations: In addition to a skincare routine, consider making some lifestyle changes to manage melasma effectively:

Avoid excessive sun exposure, especially during peak hours (10 am to 4 pm).

Wear protective clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses to shield your face from the sun.

Use an umbrella or seek shade whenever possible.

Avoid harsh skincare products, including abrasive scrubs and alcohol-based toners, as they can irritate the skin and worsen melasma.

Be patient and consistent with your routine. Melasma can take time to fade, so it’s important to stick to your skincare regimen and give it time to work.

It’s important to consult with a dermatologist who can assess your specific case of melasma and provide personalized recommendations tailored to your needs.

Melasma Treatment Options

1. Topical Treatments

Hydroquinone: This is a topical depigmenting agent that works by inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin. Hydroquinone is considered the gold standard treatment for melasma and is available over the counter in some countries, while in others, a prescription is required.

Tretinoin: Also known as all-trans retinoic acid, tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A. It helps to increase cell turnover and exfoliation, which can improve the appearance of melasma. Tretinoin is available by prescription only.

Corticosteroids: Topical corticosteroids can help reduce inflammation and may be prescribed along with other treatments to enhance their efficacy. Long-term use of corticosteroids is not recommended due to potential side effects.

Azelaic acid: This naturally occurring acid is derived from grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It has anti-inflammatory and depigmenting properties, making it beneficial for melasma treatment. Azelaic acid is available both over the counter and by prescription.

Kojic acid: This natural skin lightening agent is derived from certain fungi. Kojic acid inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin production, and can help lighten the dark patches of melasma. It is available in various over-the-counter skincare products.

Vitamin C: Topical vitamin C serums may help reduce pigmentation and improve skin tone. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and can help brighten the skin. Look for stabilized forms of vitamin C, such as L-ascorbic acid, in concentrations of 10% or higher.

2. Chemical peel

Chemical peels can be an effective treatment option for melasma. They work by exfoliating the top layers of the skin, promoting cell turnover, and reducing the appearance of pigmentation. However, it’s important to note that not all chemical peels are suitable for melasma, and their effectiveness can vary depending on the depth and severity of the condition. It’s best to consult with a dermatologist who can assess your specific case and recommend the most appropriate type of chemical peel for you. Here are some commonly used chemical peels for melasma:

Superficial or light peels: These peels use milder acids such as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or low concentrations of salicylic acid. They primarily target the outermost layer of the skin and can help improve skin texture, tone, and mild pigmentation. Superficial peels are generally safe for most skin types and have minimal downtime.

Medium-depth peels: These peels use stronger acids, such as glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid (TCA), or a combination of acids, to penetrate deeper into the skin. Medium-depth peels can provide more significant improvement in melasma, but they also come with a longer recovery time and a higher risk of side effects. They should be performed by a dermatologist or skincare professional.

Combination peels: These peels involve combining different types of acids, such as TCA with Jessner’s solution or retinoic acid, to target multiple layers of the skin. Combination peels can be effective for melasma treatment, but they require careful application and monitoring due to their potential for skin irritation and complications.

It’s important to follow the pre- and post-peel instructions provided by your dermatologist to minimize the risk of adverse effects and optimize results. After a chemical peel, your skin will be more sensitive to the sun, so it’s crucial to use broad-spectrum sunscreen and avoid prolonged sun exposure. Multiple sessions of chemical peels may be needed to achieve the desired outcome, and maintenance treatments may be necessary to manage melasma in the long term. Your dermatologist will determine the most suitable treatment plan based on your individual needs and response to the peels.

3. Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that uses a device to gently exfoliate and remove the outermost layer of the skin. While microdermabrasion can provide some benefits for the skin, it is generally not considered a primary treatment for melasma. However, it can be used as a complementary procedure in combination with other treatments.

Here are a few points to consider regarding microdermabrasion for melasma:

Exfoliation: Microdermabrasion helps to remove the outer layer of dead skin cells, which can improve the texture and smoothness of the skin. By exfoliating the top layer, it may help to lighten the appearance of melasma patches to some extent.

Superficial Pigmentation: Microdermabrasion may be more effective in treating superficial pigmentation concerns rather than deeper melasma pigmentation. Melasma typically involves the deeper layers of the skin, and microdermabrasion alone may not reach those depths.

Combination Therapy: Microdermabrasion can be combined with other treatments for melasma, such as topical creams, chemical peels, or laser therapies. By removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, microdermabrasion can enhance the penetration and effectiveness of these topical treatments.

Maintenance and Mild Cases: Microdermabrasion may be more suitable for maintenance treatments or mild cases of melasma where the pigmentation is not deeply rooted. It can help to maintain the results achieved from other treatments or minimize the appearance of melasma patches temporarily.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of microdermabrasion for melasma can vary from person to person. It is advisable to consult with a dermatologist who specializes in melasma treatment to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your specific case. They can assess your skin condition, severity of melasma, and recommend the best combination of treatments to achieve optimal results. Additionally, it’s crucial to protect the skin from the sun and use broad-spectrum sunscreen after undergoing microdermabrasion or any other melasma treatment, as sun exposure can worsen melasma.

4. Laser Therapy

Laser therapy can be an effective treatment option for melasma, particularly for cases that are resistant to other treatments or for individuals who prefer a more targeted approach. Laser treatments for melasma work by delivering specific wavelengths of light to target the pigmented areas in the skin. However, it’s important to note that the efficacy of laser therapy can vary depending on the type of laser used, the individual’s skin type, and the severity of melasma.

Here are some commonly used laser therapies for melasma:

Q-switched Nd: YAG laser: This laser emits short pulses of high-energy light that specifically target the pigmented cells in the skin. Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers are often used for melasma treatment, as they can effectively break down melanin without causing significant damage to the surrounding skin. Multiple sessions are usually required, and the treatment may cause some temporary redness and mild discomfort.

Fractional laser: Fractional lasers work by creating micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production and encouraging the turnover of pigmented cells. Fractional lasers can help improve the appearance of melasma, but they typically require a longer recovery period compared to other laser treatments. They may also be more suitable for individuals with lighter skin tones.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): IPL devices emit broad-spectrum light that targets melanin and other pigments in the skin. IPL treatments can help reduce the appearance of melasma patches and even out skin tone. However, IPL may not be as effective for deeper and more stubborn melasma cases. It is important to choose a skilled practitioner who can properly adjust the IPL settings for optimal results and minimize the risk of adverse effects.

Picosecond lasers: Picosecond lasers deliver ultra-short pulses of light, which can effectively target melasma pigmentation. These lasers are designed to break down pigmented cells without excessive heat generation, reducing the risk of complications and side effects. Picosecond lasers may require multiple sessions, and it’s important to follow post-treatment care instructions to protect the treated skin.

It’s important to consult with a dermatologist or a skincare professional who specializes in laser treatments for melasma. They can assess your specific case, determine the most suitable laser treatment option for you, and discuss the potential risks and benefits. It’s also crucial to protect your skin from sun exposure before and after laser therapy, as sun exposure can trigger melasma and compromise the results of the treatment. Regular follow-up appointments and maintenance treatments may be necessary to manage melasma effectively.

Our Expert Doctor

Dr. Maria Arooj

Experience : 8+ Years

Primary Speciality : American Board Aesthetic

Dr. Maria Arooj is a highly skilled American Board Aesthetic Surgeon in Dubai with 8 years of experience in Cosmetology & Aesthetic Dermatology.  Dr. Maria has completed her Bachelors in medicine with Honours List from Mohi- Ud -Din Islamic Medical College Mirpur Pakistan and then persuade American Medicine from American Association.

Her experience in field of Aesthetic and Cosmetology had made her a renowned name in the field.

She is an expertise in Hair Regeneration Treatment & Face & Body Fillers. Her work is acne, scars & facial pigmentation treatment is well know in Dubai.

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Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person depending on factors, such as; skin type, skin sensitivity, complexion and follow up of treatment and precautions taken before and after treatment.

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