Melasma is a common acquired skin disorder characterized by irregular, brown patches of pigmentation on the face. These patches often appear on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and nose bridge. Melasma primarily affects women and individuals with a tendency for tanning or naturally darker skin tones. While less common, it can also occur in individuals with fair or black skin.
Understanding the Causes:
The development of melasma is complex and can be attributed to various factors, including genetic predisposition, sun exposure, hormonal influences (such as pregnancy, oral contraceptive use, and hormone replacement therapy), certain medications, and the use of scented products that may trigger a phototoxic reaction leading to melasma.
Treatment Approaches for Melasma
At The Marr Clinic, we adopt a comprehensive, multi-targeted approach to achieve optimal results in treating melasma. Our process begins with a thorough skin consultation conducted by our experienced practitioners. In addition to personalized treatment plans, we provide valuable guidance and recommendations.
Hyperpigmentation & Melasma Treatment
Lifelong sun protection is essential, involving the use of physical sunscreens, broad-brimmed hats, and the adoption of sun smart behaviours.
A medical and medication review is conducted to identify potential triggers that can be reversed.
Our topical skincare regimen includes prescription hydroquinone (a depigmentation agent), retinoids (a type of Vitamin A), Vitamin C, and exfoliating agents.
Additional Treatment Options
Oral tranexamic acid, traditionally used for managing heavy bleeding, may be utilized to prevent pigmentation formation in response to UV exposure.
In clinic treatments
Clear and Brilliant laser treatment targets melasma by delivering micro-columns of energy to affected areas, utilizing different wavelengths to address pigmentation at various depths.
Chemical peels, using alpha or beta hydroxy acids, can accelerate pigment turnover in epidermal melasma, expediting pigmentation removal.
Types of Melasma and Their Significance:
Melasma can be classified into three types based on the level of increased pigment (melanin) in the skin: epidermal, dermal, and mixed. Epidermal melasma, which is superficial, typically responds well to treatment. Dermal pigmentation, on the other hand, often shows a poorer response. In many cases, clients exhibit a mixed type of melasma with both dermal and epidermal pigmentation. Identifying the type of melasma is crucial for determining the appropriate treatment approach.
It's important to understand that melasma may require long-term management. While effective treatments can yield positive outcomes, relapses can occur with sun exposure. Therefore, maintaining lifelong sun protection practices and continuing prescribed skincare regimens are crucial for achieving the best possible results.
MEET DR. MAY MARR
Dr May Marr is a Flinders University Medical School graduate and a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She has a long-held interest in aesthetic medical procedures and evidence-based skin care. She holds a passionate belief that people should have access to procedures and products that are research-backed, ethically prescribed and skilfully delivered.
Dr Marr has trained with Dr Jacque Le Coz at the Institute of Mesotherapy in Paris. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Dermatology from the Australian Institute of Dermatology and in 2020 completed her Dermatology Fellowship.
The ethical, educational and procedural standards that Dr Marr brings to aesthetic medicine have been recognised by some of the largest aesthetic companies in the world. She holds advanced injector status and her extensive clinical experience sees her regularly called upon as an industry educator.
“OUR PHILOSOPHY IS TO KEEP OUR PATIENTS LOOKING NATURAL – NOT ‘DONE’.”
DR MAY MARR