Jacksonville dermatologist provides leading-edge treatment for melasma
An estimated five million Americans, about 90 percent of them women, have melasma. This skin disorder is not a health threat, but it can crush self-esteem. Dr. Mary Pentel brings innovative treatment options for melasma to patients in the Jacksonville area.
What is “the mask of pregnancy?”
Melasma is flat patches of brown discoloration, usually on the face. It occurs when female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, stimulate melanocytes in the skin to produce excess melanin –pigmentation. This chain of events is often triggered by ultraviolet light. The condition is common in pregnant women, as the body produces more hormones.
Who is affected?
These factors increase risk of developing melasma:
- Oral contraceptives.
- Hormone replacement therapy.
- Sun exposure or use of a tanning bed.
- Darker skin tones.
- Genetic predisposition.
- Age. Melasma rarely occurs before puberty, and is less common in older individuals.
- Thyroid disease.
- Allergic reaction to cosmetics or medications.
- Heat from facial waxing (for hair removal).
- IPL, intense pulsed light, treatment for skin rejuvenation.
How does hyperpigmentation impact life?
The brown patches of melasma appear on highly-visible areas of the face – upper lip, nose, cheek bones, and forehead. Patches can be large, and contrast with natural skin tone. That makes it quite challenging to hide melasma with makeup. Many women find that the embarrassment has a negative effect on their social lives and emotional wellbeing.
Is there a cure for melasma?
Over time, a number of treatments have emerged, including the topical depigmentation agents, oral medications, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion. However, some of these treatments cannot be administered during pregnancy or nursing, and none is considered a cure.
Dr. Pentel recommends laser therapies to lighten melasma discoloration safely and effectively. The PicoSure uses super-fast pulses of light to gently stimulate natural healing processes that fade irregular pigmentation. The Fraxel laser also has a high clearance rate for melasma, fracturing a beam of light into a multitude of pinpoints to break up pigmentation. These techniques are FDA-approved and noninvasive. Treatment session are brief, with minimal discomfort and downtime.
Learn more about these drug-free treatments for melasma at Southside Dermatology in Jacksonville, FL. The number is 904-606-9882.