If you’re experiencing dark patches or dark spots on your cheeks, nose, forehead or chin, it may be due to a hyperpigmentation condition called melasma. Melasma is especially common in – though not limited to – pregnant women, so much so that it is sometimes known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’.
How do you treat melasma? The good news is that it doesn’t pose a risk to your long-term health. So the best treatments for melasma are generally non-invasive cosmetic procedures administered by a trained professional.
Melasma can fade on its own, particularly pregnancy-related melasma. But if your dark patches are showing no signs of fading, you may want to see a professional dermatologist.
A dermatologist is a medical skin specialist who can diagnose whether your skin condition is melasma and create a safe and effective treatment plan to reduce it. It’s always important to get any skin conditions that are troubling you diagnosed by a dermatologist.
At Dr Haus Dermatology in London, we have more than 20 years’ experience in managing melasma and hyperpigmentation conditions. Laser therapy is one of our specialities, and we offer a range of advanced skincare procedures that brighten skin and help restore a clear complexion.
Contact us for an initial consultation and to find out more about melasma treatment at our award-winning skin clinic. Dr Haus Dermatology has pioneered gold-standard pigmentation treatments and our team of skin specialists can create a melasma treatment plan tailored to your skin tone, skin type and health factors.
Melasma (also known as chloasma) is a particular form of hyperpigmentation disorder characterized 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’.
Pregnancy-related melasma can disappear soon after giving birth. However, in some cases – especially where there is sun exposure – it may linger for many months.
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.
While a cure for melasma may not always be possible, it can certainly be effectively managed.
One of the reasons to seek professional treatment for melasma is because what works for one patient may not work for another. Often, the best melasma treatment is a combination of approaches that will improve the appearance of affected skin.
Skilled skin specialists like the team at Dr Haus Dermatology are perfectly placed to diagnose the issue and then recommend treatments from the range of advanced skin procedures they offer. Here are the melasma treatments that we recommend to clients:
Melasma cannot be corrected or prevented without sun protection. As a starting point, most dermatologists will advise regular application of sunscreen (SPF30 or higher) and wearing a hat when exposed to the sun.
Topical medications for melasma, such as kojic acid, azelaic acid, hydroquinone and corticosteroids may be effective. Kojic acid and hydroquinone play a role in treating melasma through their skin lightening. Azelaic acid can help reduce the production of melanin in skin cells, which causes excess pigment. 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 when melasma occurs. A chemical peel removes the outer layer of the skin, triggering a healing process for clearer skin.
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. Taking birth control pills, undergoing hormone therapies, the 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.
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 to 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]