They can appear without warning: dark spots on your face, hands, or arms. You have a condition called melasma, but the good news is, it’s not dangerous. But the spots are unsightly, and for many women, they do show age. Thankfully, you don’t have to live with melasma. Today you can call Dr. Topham at Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics and discuss your options for treating melasma to give you back your clear and healthy skin.
What causes melasma?
Melasma is a term used to describe a particular type of hyperpigmentation caused by the sun. It shows up as dark brown patches on areas that are often exposed to the wind and weather. So, the face is a likely candidate, especially the forehead, cheekbones, and nose. Your décolletage and forearms are other problem areas that often show this form of sun damage. It’s not uncommon for drivers to find that their window-side arm has more brown patches than the other.
Hormones also play a role in melasma. Some women find that they have no hyperpigmentation until they get pregnant. In many cases, the dark spots go away after delivery. But some women find that they carry a visual reminder of their pregnancy in the form of dark brown patches.
How to prevent melasma
One of the best ways to prevent melasma is to use a high-quality sunscreen every day. Many moisturizers contain sunscreen, but it might not be enough to protect your skin, especially if you're very fair. Some women may worry about the effect of chemicals if they’re pregnant. Talk to Dr. Topham to find the right sunscreen for you and your baby.
How to treat melasma with PICO Genesis™
Often, even with the best of care, women find themselves sporting dark brown patches. It might be because their sunscreen wasn’t strong enough, or because it wore off while they were still exposed. Regardless, there are ways to treat your melasma that can restore your fresh, clear skin. One of the newest is the PICO Genesis.
The PICO Genesis is a powerful laser that uses short bursts of light. This treats the affected skin without causing any damage to the surrounding, healthy cells. The short bursts of light penetrate the healthy skin cells and break up the melanin, or pigment, that lies beneath the skin cells. As the melanin breaks up, your body absorbs the damaged pigment and eliminates it naturally.
Unlike other laser treatments, the PICO Genesis is non-thermal. This cool procedure isn’t only pain-free, but it leaves the skin firm with no redness or swelling. So, you can leave the office after your treatment with no one the wiser. Over the subsequent days and weeks, the body removes the damaged pigment, leaving your skin clear.
Other benefits of PICO Genesis
If the pain-free note wasn’t enough, there are other benefits to the PICO Genesis. As the short wavelength passes through the healthy tissue, it stimulates the healthy cells. This can encourage your collagen layer, rejuvenating your skin and giving your entire face a smoother, more youthful appearance.
What to expect
Before you schedule your procedure, you need to set an appointment with Dr. Topham at Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics. Together, you evaluate your melasma and discuss your best options, including PICO Genesis.
On the day of your procedure, have a seat and relax as Dr. Topham moves the PICO wand over the affected areas of your skin. During the procedure, many people feel nothing but the wand sliding over their skin. However, a few feel a slight tingle in the treatment area. Depending on the areas to be treated, your procedure may take as long as 20 minutes. After the procedure, you simply leave the office — no redness or swelling, no downtime needed.
If you aren’t sure whether the PICO Genesis is right for you, give Dr. Topham a call and sit down with him for a consultation. Together you can explore your options for smoother, clearer skin.