Preventing and Treating Melasma

If you’ve noticed parts of your skin, particularly on your face, slowly forming grey or dark spots, you’re not alone. Melasma is a common skin condition that occurs when cells in your epidermis, the outer layer of your skin, overproduce melanin. Melasma can’t hurt you, but the symptoms can make you feel self-conscious about your skin. 

At Rapaport Dermatology, our team treats melasma with the care and sensitivity that you deserve. We offer treatments that are catered to your skin’s special needs. Vicki Rapaport, MD, and Marvin Rapaport, MD have years of experience clearing skin and helping patients to prevent a variety of issues, including melasma. 

How did I get melasma? 

Over 90% of people who have melasma are women. It’s not fully understood why this condition rarely affects men. Melasma could be the result of a gene in your family, but risk factors for developing melasma tend to be environmental. 

Dark patches on your skin typically occur on the face, neck, shoulders, and forearms. They may be your skin’s response to hormone changes, like the use of birth control. Pregnancy, too, can cause melasma and does in 15% to 20% of pregnant women. 

The most likely cause of most cases of melasma is excessive sun exposure. The aforementioned melanocytes are triggered by UV rays, heat, and light. As a result, more melanin is produced than what should naturally occur in your skin, and you see the dark patches. 

Melasma affects people with darker skin or skin that tans easily, more often than skin that is light or fair. Other risk factors for melasma include: 

If you’ve lived with both acne and melasma, you probably already understand that your skin is sensitive to stress. Stress can be a trigger for an acne breakout, but be mindful of your stress levels after your acne is resolved. 

How do I get rid of my melasma?

Dr. Rapaport is ready to assist you with treatment on our first available date. We begin with a consultation, and by going over your medical history. For every case of melasma, we always want to consider conservative treatments first, especially if you have sensitive skin. Our typical treatment options include: 

Your melasma may be annoying or embarrassing, but we have options to help you restore your skin to its youthful clarity and smoothness. All spa treatments are performed by our team of warm and professional aestheticians who are here to gently care for your skin. 

Will it come back? 

It’s possible that your skin may form dark patches again, but we have a solution for you: prevention! Your provider will give you plenty of guidance to help you nurture and protect your skin.  At the top of the list, as with any general list of skincare tips, is consistent daily use of sunscreen, and remember to touch it up throughout the day. 

Avoiding waxing, wearing hats and protective eyewear, and judiciously choosing skin products are all important in the prevention of melasma. If you have dark patches on your skin that you know don’t belong, call us today at 310-361-7710, or book an appointment with us online. 

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