Everyone likes to put their best face forward, and hyperpigmentation or dark spots on the skin can be unsettling. Melasma is a skin condition that mainly affects women, especially during pregnancy. It typically appears as discolouration or dark patches on areas of the face.
The best treatment for melasma on the face starts with consulting a dermatologist who can diagnose it correctly and recommend the most effective melasma treatments. The good news is that melasma does not pose a threat to your health, and it may even fade away on its own.
When it comes to diagnosing melasma, there really is no substitute for an experienced eye. The team at Dr Haus Dermatology have been treating melasma and hyperpigmentation conditions for over 20 years. We offer a range of procedures that brighten skin, and we are pioneers in gold-standard pigmentation treatments.
If you’d like a professional assessment of your skin discolouration combined with the most effective and up-to-date melasma treatment, book a consultation with our award-winning skin clinic.
You can get your melasma hyperpigmentation treatment programme under way as soon as possible and look forward to seeing dark spots and dark patches fade away and a clearer complexion returning.
Melasma (also known as chloasma) is a particular form of hyperpigmentation disorder characterised by tan or brown patches occurring most commonly on the face. It typically forms in a symmetrical pattern in sun-exposed areas such as on the forehead, nose, cheeks, chin and upper lip.
It is linked to hormonal changes and presents more commonly in women than men, and also in people with darker skin tones. Melasma on the face is particularly common in pregnant women and it is often known as ‘the mask of pregnancy’.
Thankfully, melasma is a harmless condition that is not painful. While it does not pose a medical threat, like many other skin pigmentation issues it can be upsetting from the aesthetic point of view.
Dermatologists can diagnose pigmentation skin conditions and offer safe and medically approved methods of treating hyperpigmentation, for all skin types.
And while melasma is not linked to skin cancer, it’s important that you get any skin condition that is concerning you looked at by a professional dermatologist.
Melasma treatment can be challenging, and what works for one patient may not work for another. However while a cure may not always be possible, the condition can certainly be effectively managed. Often, the best melasma treatment is a combination of approaches that will improve the appearance of affected skin. Here are the melasma treatments that we recommend at Dr Haus Dermatology in London:
Melasma cannot be corrected or prevented without sun protection. Most dermatologists will advise regular application of sunscreen (SPF30 or higher) and wearing a hat when exposed to the sun because exposure to UV rays will make existing melasma worse.
Topical treatments, such as azelaic acid, hydroquinone and corticosteroids may be effective. Azelaic acid can help reduce the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour. Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent. Corticosteroids may be prescribed alone or in combination with other treatments to enhance their effectiveness.
Dr Haus Dermatology in Harley Street was the first clinic in the UK to offer patients ‘elos’ laser treatment technology. This state-of-the-art platform delivers laser, light and radio frequencies to treat melasma and other hyperpigmentation conditions.
Other melasma laser treatments include the Erbium and Fraxel laser modalities.
Chemical peels, microneedling and drug delivery, along with the application of a special serum, are other effective tools in the Dr Haus cosmetic dermatology treatment kit. Oral medications might also be prescribed.
At the cellular level, all disorders of pigmentation are caused by the skin pigment, melanin, being produced in excess and breaching normal containment mechanisms in the skin structure.
Hormonal fluctuations are among the key melasma causes, as seen by the link with pregnancy. Birth control pills, hormone therapies, menopause, other conditions that affect the hormones (such as thyroid problems), some medications (e.g. treatments for epilepsy) and even using the wrong cosmetics, have been associated with the condition.
Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can trigger melasma or make a pre-existing condition worse. As a general rule, patients experience flare-ups in the summer months, rather than in winter.
Skin type may also play a part in changes to the epidermis. People who tan well, or with darker skin tones, are more likely to experience melasma. There is also evidence to suggest that family history may be a risk factor, with some studies finding that over half of patients with melasma have a positive family history.
As mentioned earlier, melasma on the face is frequently associated with pregnant women. According to the British Association of Dermatologists, up to 50% of pregnant women may be affected.
In many cases, pregnancy-related melasma will disappear soon after giving birth. However, in some cases – especially where there is sun exposure – it may linger for many months.
A dermatologist is the best professional to call on for definitive assessment and diagnosis, as well as effective follow-up melasma treatment.
Dermatologists will start with a visual assessment of the skin condition. In the case of dark patches on the face, as opposed to other areas of the body, a symmetrical pattern on either side may provide a helpful clue as to whether the hyperpigmentation is melasma or not.
Aside from identifying the condition by visual examination, the dermatologist may conduct an examination using a hand-held microscope known as a dermascope, with imaging capabilities.
More sophisticated diagnostic techniques that may be deployed include digital imaging platforms, which can provide an instant, painless and accurate view beneath the surface of the skin, without the need for surgical biopsy.
Dr Haus has over 20 years’ experience in managing melasma and hyperpigmentation conditions. Dr Haus trained in Brazil, where there are many different tones and types of skin, as well as lots of sun. He has what might be considered the ideal professional pedigree to treat melasma.
We offer many of the most popular treatments for pigmentation and have also pioneered revolutionary gold-standard treatments that target pigment-producing cells. We are specialists in laser therapy and offer state-of-the-art laser and light technology for melasma treatment.
We have a range of treatment options to restore your skin complexion and the essential training and expertise to create exactly the right treatment programme for you.
If you, or someone you know, are struggling with skin discolouration symptoms that may indicate melasma, contact us at Dr Haus Dermatology to hear about the professional solutions we offer.
Our experience with this frequently distressing condition means we understand your concern and can help you decide if a consultation appointment might be the right next step for you.
The Clinic’s founder Dr Haus has been named as a Top Dermatologist in the Tatler Beauty & Cosmetic Surgery Guide in 2019, 2021 and again in 2023.
Our team of Dermatologists are skin experts who hold positions in the NHS in addition to their private practices. They keep up to date in their specialities by regularly attending national and international dermatology conferences.
Dr Haus Dermatology Clinic is regulated by the Care Quality Commission and following routine inspections in December 2019 and March 2023 was rated overall GOOD.
You may contact us by email or through the Enquiry Form on our website. If you have requested a call back then please let us know the best time of day for us to telephone you.
75 Harley Street,
London W1G 8QL
Tel: +44 20 7935 6358
Email: [email protected]