Melasma Treatments

Pregnancy mask can be resolved so easily.

Melasma, also known as cholasma, is characterized by irregular patches of dark skin on the face. These tan or brown patches usually occur symmetrically on the cheeks, upper lip, nose, or forehead. The symmetry of melasma distinguishes it from other conditions that cause darkening of the skin.

Melasma is a common condition and is found more often in women. Those with darker skin types (including Indians, Hispanics, Middle-Easterners, and North Africans) are more prone to melasma than those with lighter complexions.

Within a patch of melasma, pigment producing cells (called melanocytes) are increased in number and each melanocyte produces more pigment (called melanin). Increased melanin in the skin leads to the tan or brown coloration.

The cause of melasma is not fully understood. However, genetics, hormonal changes, and sun exposure are known to play important roles. For example, melasma often occurs with pregnancy, hence the term “mask of pregnancy.” Oral contraceptives can also trigger melasma.

Melasma causes irregular tan, brown, or even blue/black patches on parts of the face including cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, jaw line, and upper lip. It is most often symmetrical (matching on both sides of the face).

Although there are some diseases that cause similar changes in the skin, melasma itself has no association with internal disease.

There are several approaches to the improvement of melasma. Schedule your complementary consultation at Greenspring to determine which is best suited to your condition.

IPL is one of the treatments used to treat melasma. Unlike lasers, which use intense, focused light, IPL is intense broadband light. Although IPL delivers energy to both the superficial and deep layers of the skin, the epidermis is spared from damage. Thus,
there is virtually no recovery time. In the studies that have been performed so far, IPL can smooth the skin and fade age spots, freckles, melasma, and even broken blood vessels. Improvements usually last for about a year with good sun protection.

IPL is safer than laser therapy because IPL does not damage the epidermis. There may be some pain during the procedure but no recovery time. Unlike laser therapy, however, you may need multiple treatments (average is 4-6, at three weeks intervals) to get the full benefit.

The Obagi Nu-Derm System is also used for melasma. This System penetrates below the skin’s surface to correct damage in all layers of the skin.

The System triggers a Therapeutic Cascade™ that:

  • Pushes fresher cells to the surface faster, for smoother skin, reduced wrinkles and increased tolerance
  • Corrects current pigmentation (freckles, melasma and age spots) and prevents the appearance of new pigmentation
  • Promotes more uniform cells at the deepest layer for better skin structure and balanced, even skin tone
  • Increases collagen and elastin for firmer, more resilient skin
  • Increases nutrient’s natural hydration and circulation for supple, healthy-looking skin.

Click here to learn about IPL Photofacial.


What causes melasma?
Melasma is a common skin disorder. Though it can affect anyone, women with darker skin tones (especially Hispanic, Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern) are at greatest risk. Melasma can be associated with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. It is especially common in pregnant women, women who are taking oral contraceptives, and women taking hormone replacement therapy during menopause. The use of cosmetics is associated with melasma but the relationship between the two is not understood. Sun exposure is strongly associated with melasma.

What does melasma look like?
Melasma causes irregular tan, brown, or even blue/black patches on parts of the face including cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, jaw line, and upper lip. It is most often symmetrical (matching on both sides of the face).

*Individual results may vary from person to person.

Any specific claims or permanence length of results vary for each patient and are not guaranteed. Each treatment plan is designed for an individual patient’s needs, so depending on the area being treated and the condition of the skin, each patient may see different results.

Please call for a patient assessment to discuss your treatment plan and the results that can be achieved for you.

**Call Greenspring Medical Aesthetics for details.