By local mom and medical aesthetician: Slone Mathieu
My daughter once spent a comical amount of time and energy trying to wipe away "dirt" from my forehead. I indulged her with the patience of a Mom who has licked and swiped at her face for years. This was payback and I let her rub until it hurt. Then there was the time when my friendly manicurist offered to wax away the "hairs" from my upper lip. I politely declined with the confidence of a licensed laser technician. Those hairs had been zapped to oblivion years ago!
I knew very well that there was no dirt on my dome, no fuzz to be found, no spray tan traumas, no makeup mishaps. Nothing but my skin...and what they saw was my life long struggle with Melasma.
Melasma is a brownish-gray facial discoloration that typically appears on the forehead, cheeks and upper lip. It is most commonly diagnosed in women, and while the condition often makes us feel isolated and alone in our struggle, it affects over 40 million of us worldwide! These global numbers illustrate that women with an olive or darker skin tone -Hispanic, Asian, Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, African - have a higher tendency to pigment.
Sun exposure and hormonal changes are believed to be the predominant causes of Melasma, but various chemicals and modalities designed to treat the condition can actually make it worse.
Some women develop Melasma during pregnancy. This is actually called chloasma, which is a reaction to increased hormones, and may resolve itself naturally when the hormone levels return to normal. Beyond pigment issues, pregnancy isn't always a picnic, but when compared to a lifetime of dealing with Melasma maintenance and missteps, I consider the Mammas to be the lucky ones!
Despite all the hard-faced facts and the rough reality of Melasma, there is good news: you are not alone! Now before you pull a muscle rolling your eyes, let me clarify: myself, and the entire team at Dream Spa Medical, are in it with you. As a woman who has struggled with this, I can only offer sympathy and solidarity. As a professional working in the skin care industry who has corrected her own concerns, I can offer control...and that's the whole battle when it comes to Melasma!
A proper skin analysis and a customized home care regimen are only a starting point. Natural and medical grade products, as well as in-office treatments are necessary. And for the love of all that is pure and pigment free, wipe off the dirt and put on your sunscreen!!
If you liked this article, pass it on, or feel free to share your own experience with Melasma. We'd love to hear from you and we hope to see you soon.