At the moment there is no cure for hormonal pigmentation, but several treatments available at our Perth clinic can reduce the appearance of it. If the pigmentation appears during pregnancy, it will often resolve in the few months after delivery. Treatment for melasma falls into the following categories, and most often is a combination of some or all of these:
- Avoiding triggers, such as the oral contraceptive pill
- Sunscreen and sun avoidance
- Skin lightening creams
- Chemical Peels and Laser Treatments
Skin affected by melasma darkens more than the surrounding skin with exposure to sunlight, so sun avoidance and sun protection are important. Many sunscreens leave the skin feeling greasy and so people are reluctant to use them. We recommend Actinica 50+ sunscreen, which is a light-weight lotion perfect for every day use.
Skin Lightening Creams
Skin lightening creams aim to reduce the activity of pigment-forming cells in the skin:
- Lytera Skin Brightening Complex contains a series of proven skin lightening products, including vitamin C, niacinamide (B3), licorice root and retinol. It is not recommended for sensitive skin or while pregnant or breast-feeding. Results like improved skin clarity and texture should be seen within 4 weeks.
- Complete Pigment Serum is suitable for all skin types and safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. It’s a great product for mild pigmentation or to prevent pigmentation returning after laser treatments. Combine this with Exfol A (if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding) to really boost the results.
- Prescribed Pigment Fading Gel (PFG), also known as Kligman’s Formula, is a powerful combination of Kojic Acid, Hydroquinone and Retinol. PFG cannot be used while pregnant or breast-feeding, and long-term use is not recommended. A good approach is to use PFG for 4 months to lighten pigmentation, and then shift to Lytera or Complete Pigment Serum. Results are usually seen in 2 – 4 weeks.
Laser Treatments and Chemical Peels
Chemical Peels and Laser treatments can be effective in treating hormonal pigmentation however it often comes back. Sunscreen is essential and skin lightening creams may be used before and after treatment to prevent recurrence.
- Fraxel Dual Laser improves all types of pigmentation and all skin types. The skin sheds after about 3 – 4 days, leaving behind clear, glowing skin. This is the first choice for melasma in our Perth clinic, and results are usually seen after only one treatment although results vary from person to person.
- Revlite Laser works by breaking up pigmentation and is usually done as a course of 3 or 4 treatments. A gradual improvement is seen over the course.
- We think the Deep Sea Peel is like a “mini-Fraxel”. The top layer of the skin gently sheds and lightens pigmentation. It’s usually a one-off peel, but for hormonal pigmentation a course of 2 – 3 peels can be helpful.
Care must be taken before any treatment for melasma because, if treated inappropriately, the pigmentation problems can actually worsen. At Skin Resus, all treatments are done by our Cosmetic Doctors and Registered Nurses who are experienced in treating a range of skin colours and conditions. To find out more, come in for a free consultation with one of our nurses.