If you have brown or gray-brown patches of skin on your face, you may have melasma. This common skin condition often occurs due to prolonged, repetitive sun exposure or hormone changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy. You don’t have to tolerate this discoloration. Consult Bellevue Acne Clinic and nurse practitioner Bradford Jellerichs for proven therapies to fade melasma. Men and women in the Bellevue, Washington area can call the office to set up a consultation or use the online booking tool.
You can suspect you have melasma if you have patches of slightly discolored skin on your cheeks, forehead, chin, above the upper lip, and/or on the bridge of your nose. These patches show up as gray-brown or brownish. You may also get some patches on your forearms or neck.
Melasma isn’t painful and won’t cause changes in your skin’s sensation or texture. But, it can make you feel self-conscious and disturb your self-esteem.
Researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes melasma, but it does have a genetic component. It most often appears in women and ethnicities with darker skin. People with darker skin tend to be more vulnerable to melasma because it contains a greater number of active melanocytes, of skin color-producing cells than people with light skin. Overactive melanocytes trigger melasma.
Specific triggers seem cause melasma to occur. These include:
Bradford Jellerichs can do a physical exam to diagnose your melasma. They may use a specific light device to determine how deeply melasma reaches into the layers of the skin. In some cases, you may undergo a skin biopsy to rule out another condition.
Melasma, such as cases suffered during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills, can fade on its own once the baby is born or you stop taking the pill. For other people, melasma can last a lifetime. In these cases, Bellevue Acne Clinic can help.
The staff offers chemical peels, facials, laser treatments, and medications to help the melasma fade.
Melasma can fade on its own. This usually happens when a trigger, such as a pregnancy or birth control pills, causes the melasma. When a woman delivers her baby or stops taking the birth control pills, melasma can fade. The condition responds well to dermatology treatments, but you may need several sessions over the course of a few months. Bradford Jellerichs may recommend periodic maintenance treatments to prevent the discoloration from returning, too.