Pigmentation or brown spots on the skin are caused by a pigment called melanin. Melanin is a normal part of the skin, but certain factors can trigger its over release leading to undesired pigmentation.
The cause of melasma is complex and it appears to be different to normal pigmentation so treatment options differ. There is a genetic predisposition to melasma.
Other pigmeneted lesions are often known as sun spots, liver spots or age spots.
Ministry of Skin is a RACGP accredited clinic.
Another form of pigmentation is called melasma. Melasma is a chronic skin disorder that results in symmetrical, blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation. The cause of melasma is complex and it appears to be different to normal pigmentation so treatment options differ. There is a genetic predisposition to melasma.
Other pigmented lesions are often known as sun spots, liver spots or age spots.
Factors that trigger pigmentation and melasma:
Understanding what causes and triggers pigmentation is essential to its prevention both now and after any treatments, as it can recur.
The commonest causes are:
- Sun exposure — this is the commonest cause and can be avoided by the application of sunscreen and seeking shade.
- Pregnancy — in affected women, the pigment often fades a few months after delivery but it can remain permanently.
- Hormone treatments — oral contraceptive pills containing oestrogen and/or progesterone, hormone replacement, intrauterine devices and implants are a factor in about a quarter of affected women.
- Certain medications, scented or deodorant soaps, toiletries and cosmetics—these may cause a phototoxic reaction that triggers melasma, which may then persist long term.
- Hypothyroidism (low levels of circulating thyroid hormone).
Treatment options for melasma and pigmentation
Treatment of pigmentation or melasma is complex and a thorough skin assessment that identifies the type and depth of pigmentation that you have, done by skilled professionals such as at Medical Skin Clinic Australia is essential. In the wrong hands pigment can get worse.
At Ministry of skin we can assess your skin and individualise a plan to help improve your pigmentation. Most plans are for the long term, as what you do at home and what your skin is exposed to in the future can have a huge influence on pigmentation and the longevity of any treatment you have. For most with pigmentation a home maintenance programme is essential.
Treatments required are all assessed on an individual basis and what suits one may not suit another. It is often possible that a combination of treatments are required to best treat the conditions concerned. At Medical Skin Clinic Australia we listen to your concerns and give you trusted advise of the options available to you and the best ways to prevent pigmentation recurring.