The Best Melasma Treatment: How to Get Rid of Melasma
Looking for the best melasma treatment to finally get rid of your dark spots? The millions of others who deal with this common skin condition can empathize. Melasma is notoriously hard to get rid of. Treatment, especially with over the counter treatments alone, can be really frustrating.
Let’s consult research, cut through the noise of the beauty counter world, and find the best melasma treatment.
What is melasma?
Melasma is the overproduction of melanin by melanocytes, which control the pigment of the skin.
Characterized as dispersed dark patches across the skin. These melasma spots are normally a brown or greyish color. Mostly affecting women around the cheeks, forehead, nose, and above the upper lip.
This is also sometimes called chloasma, “the mask of pregnancy”, or “sun mustache”.
Causes of melasma
The cause of melasma isn’t entirely clear. However, the two main culprits are thought to be sun exposure and hormonal changes.
Those who are of a darker complexion are more prone to melasma as they naturally have more melanin in the skin.
Hormonal imbalances caused by pregnancy, hormonal birth control, or hormone therapy
Thyroid disease or imbalance
The best course of treatment for melasma
For some, melasma will disappear or correct on its own. For others, however, melasma is tricky to treat and remove. Even if your melasma is beginning to lighten, it’s essential to treat it so it doesn’t worsen.
If you’re looking for a melasma treatment to finally put this all to rest, these are 3 good courses of treatment.
#1 Depigmenting and brightening serum
As mentioned before, melasma is caused by the overproduction of melanocytes which causes excess melanin production — which causes dark spots. The trick with this issue is to stop this overproduction.
A depigmenting and lightening serum can help suppress the overproduction of melanin and eventually depigment melasma.
But keep in mind, any old brightening serum is probably not going to cut it when it comes to melasma dark spots.
Listen, we know everyone is talking about tretinoin, but there is a good reason. This prescription-strength ingredient can help increase skin cell turnover and reduce fine lines, age spots, scars, and help lighten melasma.
When skin cell turnover is increased, your skin regenerates faster which helps to reveal newer layers of skin with less melanin build-up.
In this 2006 study, nearly 70% of melasma patients saw significant improvements with topical tretinoin alone.
When it comes to melasma, it’s common and effective to use both tretinoin and prescription skin lightener hydroquinone. Tretinoin helps reveal new skin, while hydroquinone works to depigment melasma.
#3 Mega sun protection
No matter what topical products you choose as your melasma treatment — you’ve got to protect yourself from UV rays. The sun can darken melasma spots and it’s thought to be a trigger for melasma.
It’s nearly impossible to treat melasma without sun protection. Instead of fighting an uphill battle, use a daily at least 30 SPF sunscreen.
A dermatologist might also suggest the use of hats to shield from the sun while treating melasma.
Try prescription depigmenting serums that can brighten and depigment melasma. The goal is to inhibit melanin production enough to return to your natural skin tone.
Tretinoin has proven very effective as a treatment of melasma.
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! UV rays can darken melasma, making treating it really difficult.