A number of people are always on the look-out for the best and most affordable melasma treatments.
Melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy, is a type of hyperpigmentation that frequently occurs in pregnant women. It is said to develop as a result of hormonal imbalance, as it is also common in those who are taking contraceptives and those who have thyroid problems. These hyperpigmentations can also affect men. Dark-skinned people were also found to be more prone to this condition. Genetics also plays a part, since scientists have found that it can sometimes be hereditary. These tan or dark, symmetrical spots usually appear on the face, making those who are afflicted with them less confident about their skin.
These spots may appear cancerous, so most doctors use a device called Wood’s Lamp to diagnose them. Wood’s Lamp is a CFL-shaped device that emits UV light, which is shone over the skin’s surface to diagnose a variety of conditions. It is used to check a patient for ethylene glycol poisoning, which is caused by the ingestion of a car’s anti-freeze or brake fluid. In the case of melasma, it is used to distinguish spots that appear on the epidermis from those that originate in the dermal layer of the skin. These epidermal spots will appear to have a yellow green color under UV light.
Although these spots can be concealed with the help of a good concealer, most women prefer to undergo melasma treatments to make them disappear completely. The treatment most recommended by dermatologists is the Fraxel laser therapy. Another option is chemical peel, which peels off the skin’s epidermal layer to reveal a new, spot-free layer of skin. Both melasma treatments can be quite expensive, so people tend to go for the cheaper alternative: bleaching creams.
The most common lightening creams are those that contain 2% hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is said to lighten discolorations by inhibiting the production of melanin. However, this component is prohibited in a lot of countries because of its potentially cancer-causing effects.
Another type of whitening cream is Tri-luma, which contains a combination of hydroquinone, tretinoin, which is used to treat acne, and fluocinolone to reduce itching and inflammation. These melasma treatments suppress the production of melanin and speed up the turnover of skin cells. It takes at least eight weeks for Tri-luma to produce results. It can also cause swelling and irritation of the treated areas of the skin, so potential users of this product should always check with their dermatologist for possible side effects. After getting another diagnosis and learning that the spots have completely disappeared, users should stop the treatment immediately.
There are creams and meds that contain mandelic acid. This type of alpha hydroxy treatment is known for its antibacterial effects and has also been used to treat acne. Unlike alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), though, this solution takes a while for the skin to absorb, making it a gentler alternative. Those who have recently been through laser surgery are advised to take mandelic acid for faster recovery. Known for its efficient healing effect, this acid has been used as an ingredient in bleaching creams to facilitate skin regeneration.
All melasma treatments require the regular application of sunscreen to protect patients from harmful radiation.