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Melasma is a common skin condition that leads to the appearance of grayish and brown patches on the skin’s surface, usually on the chin, around the lips, cheeks, nose, and forehead. Since melasma often appears on women during pregnancy, it’s colloquially known as the “mask of pregnancy.” Approximately 90% of all melasma cases occur in women, but men can also develop symptoms of melasma.

What is melasma?

Melasma isn’t dangerous, but it can cause self-consciousness and self-esteem issues. Individuals with melasma often seek aesthetic treatments to restore optimal aesthetic wellness and improve the tone and texture of the skin. We provide personalized melasma in San Carlos treatments with lasers and chemical peels to restore your even complexion. We encourage you to meet our medical providers to explore your treatment options.

What are the symptoms of melasma?

The primary symptoms of melasma are patches of skin discoloration. Patches of your skin may look gray, brown, or darker than the surrounding skin. Interestingly, melasma is highly symmetrical and affects both sides of the face with similar patterns.

Some of the most common regions for melasma patches include the cheeks, forehead, chin, nose, and around the lips. However, you can also develop melasma in the neck, forearms, or other parts of the body exposed to direct sunlight.

What are my melasma treatment options?

Your melasma treatment starts with a thorough consultation with Dr. Jhin, our board-certified dermatologist. She carefully evaluates your skin, discusses your goals and concerns, determines the possible cause of melasma, and curates a personalized melasma in San Carlos treatment plan, which may include laser treatment or chemical peels. Each treatment protocol is calibrated according to your skin type to ensure safe and consistent results without harsh side effects.

Laser Treatment

The dermatologist uses a specialized IPL device, known as Icon by Cynosure, to break down the unwanted melasma cells. The IPL device channels highly calibrated wavelengths of light energy into the targeted regions to break apart the unwanted pigmentation, following which the darker pigment cells are metabolized and expelled by your body. After a few sessions spaced a few weeks apart, the signs of melasma will gradually dissipate.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are unique skincare formulations that exfoliate the uppermost layers of the skin to reveal smoother, softer, and more even-toned skin underneath. Since melasma only affects the uppermost layers of the skin, a few rounds of chemical peels can clear up your complexion. The medical provider applies a mild acid peel to scrub away the dead skin cells and damaged uppermost layers of your skin, thus revealing smoother, softer, and more glowing skin.

What causes melasma?

Melasma is common amongst pregnant women, but the specific root cause isn’t known. It’s theorized that melasma can occur because of hormonal changes in the body, especially because of changes in the level of estrogen and progesterone. That’s why melasma is also common amongst those taking birth control pills or undergoing hormone therapy.

Additionally, melasma is more common amongst darker-skinned individuals. Thyroid disorders and stress can also lead to a higher risk of melasma patches. Furthermore, direct sunlight exposure can trigger melasma because the UV rays can affect the pigment-producing cells, i.e., the melanocytes, leading to a higher risk of melasma in San Carlos.

Why choose Premier Dermatology?

Premier Dermatology is a premier dermatology practice specializing in cutting-edge aesthetic treatments that revitalize your complexion. Dr. Jhin is the Chief Medical Officer of Musely which has been successfully treating thousands of patients with melasma. Our medical team is led by Dr. Marie Jhin, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in Asian skin with 10+ years of experience as a Stanford instructor. Please schedule an appointment to explore your melasma treatment options in San Carlos.