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Melasma vs. Hyperpigmentation: What You Need to Know

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Hyperpigmentation is an umbrellas term for several different types of skin concerns, including age spots, post-inflammatory discolouration, freckles and solar lentigines – basically, it’s anything that causes the skin to darken.

Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin concerns related to pigmentation but this is not the case for melasma.

Melasma is directly linked to hormonal changes and imbalances, which is why it’s so common amongst pregnant women. Melasma presents itself as blotchy patches on the face, particularly around the upper lip, jawline, cheeks and forehead. It can also be made worse by exposing your skin to sun and heat and is more common amongst women with darker skin tones.

A different approach is required to treat these two different types of pigmentation-related skin concerns.

Hyperpigmentation Treatment Options 

To begin with, if you have pigmentation concerns, it’s important to avoid sun exposure and to always wear a high-quality sunscreen. When pigmented skin is continuously exposed to the sun, it can become harder to treat.

Here are your hyperpigmentation treatment options:

Gentlemax Pro Laser. This laser treatment is ideal for patients with lighter skin tones and has a high satisfaction rate. Not only is minimal pain experienced during treatment but downtime is minimal too.

Picoway Laser. This laser treatment is suited to all skin types and won’t cause post-inflammatory pigmentation in those with darker skin tones.

Melasma Treatment Options

Before you decide that you need to be treated for melasma, it’s best to consult with a qualified clinician such as (https://www.facetodaycairns.com.au), to ensure you receive the correct diagnosis.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with melasma, you will need to look at the underlying hormonal causes. Once you have melasma there is a high chance of it recurring but it can easily be managed using one of these treatments.

Cosmelan Peels. This two-phase peel system is ideal for severe cases of melasma. During the first phase, the current pigmentation is removed and during the second phase, reoccurrence is prevented. Reoccurrence is prevented by using a tyrosinase inhibitor, which prevents the production of additional melanin. Many professionals recommend paring a Cosmelan peel with a laser treatment for the best results.

PicoWay Laser. This advanced laser system is very effective for treating melasma. The picosecond speed of the laser shatters the pigment in the deeper layers of the skin, without needing to use heat.

Resolve Laser. This laser system also uses ultra-fast pulses to fragment the pigment in the skin, after which the body’s immune system will eliminate the pigment.

It should be noted that most patients will require several treatments to prevent a reoccurrence so you will need to work out a personalised treatment plan with your clinic. Not all cosmetic clinics offer the same treatments either so it’s best to consult with a professional first and discuss your options from there – just be sure that the clinic you choose actually specialises in these types of treatments and can provide you with visual proof.

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