What Is melasma?
Melasma is a type of skin hyperpigmentation that affects both women and men and is due to hormonal influences. Melasma affects millions of individuals, both men and women. Melasma is difficult to treat which leads to frustration for both the patient and the provider. Adequate management of melasma includes an aggressive sun protection program for life.
Who is more likely to be affected by melasma?
Melasma is far more common in women than men; 90% of melasma sufferers are women and 10% are men.Melasma affects people of all ages. Individuals with darker skin such as Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean Latin/Hispanic, North African, African-American, are more likely to suffer from melasma. There may be genetic predisposition to getting melasma
What Does Melasma Look Like?
The brown pigmentation in melasmas consists of flat brown patches; most commonly on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and above upper lip. Melasma can also affect other sun exposed areas such as the neck, chest and forearms.
What Causes Melasma?
No one knows the exact cause of melasma. We do know that your melanocytes, the pigment producing cells in your skin manufacture too much pigment.The menalocyte pigment production can be triggered by:
- Excessive sun exposure; Best melasma prevention is sun protection.
- Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, birth control pills, menopausal changes, HRT can all trigger melasma. Melasma in pregnant women is called chloasma nicknamed the “pregnancy mask”
- Skin Irritation: Inflammation of skin from skin products, or cosmetics can lead to pigmentary changes and precipitation of melasma.
How To Treat Melasma?
For many people, melasma can get better on its own upon removing the trigger, e.g after pregnancy, after stopping the birth control pills, regular use of adequate sun protection.
If removing the trigger does not lead to improvement of melasma, you can try prescription skin lightening agents. We see a lot of patients who have tried conventional melasma treatments with minimal improvement. For these individuals we recommend PRP injection treatment for improvement of melasma.
What is PRP?
Regenerative Cosmetic PRP Therapy for skin aging, scars, hyperpigmentation and melasma is an innovative cosmetic treatment which harness the healing power of your blood to enhance your healing ability. PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is prepared in our office from your own blood.
Upon arrival to the office, our PRP trained technician will draw a small amount of blood from your vein similar to a blood draw for routine lab work. She will then place your blood in a FDA approved PRP kit which is centrifuged to separate your platelets from your red and white blood cells.
For melasma and deep pigmentation of skin resistant to conventional therapy, I inject your PRP into the middle layer of your skin in the areas of melasma; followed by topical application of your PRP with miconeedling skin treatment which is done by our Micropen/microneedling trained medical aestheticians.
How Does PRP work for melasma improvement?
Your platelets release growth factors which initiate your own body’s stem cell response for healthy tissue regeneration. We think that the improvement of melasma with PRP treatments is partly due to melanocyte suppression and partly due to the increase in skin volume that is so commonly seen with the PRP skin treatments for wrinkles and aging skin. One of the growth factors, TGF-ß1, has been investigated for its action on the melanocytes and its role in reducing the pigmentation in melasma.
How is PRP treatment for melasma done?
For your melasma treatment with PRP, upon arrival to the office, our PRP trained technician draws a small amount of blood from your vein similar to a blood draw for routine lab work.
She will then place your blood in a FDA approved PRP kit which is centrifuged to separate your platelets from your red and white blood cells. I inject your PRP into the middle layer of your skin in the areas of deep pigmentation; followed by topical application of your PRP with miconeedling skin treatment which is done by our Micropen/microneedling trained medical aestheticians.
For most of our melasma patients we prescribe a skin lightening medication to start a few days after the treatment and to continue for a few months. We recommend an additional 2-3 micronneedling treatments for improvement of melasma and skin texture for majority of our patients with resistant hyperpigmentation and we continue the topical prescription skin lightener in between treatments to maximize their results. It is imperative to practice adequate sun protection during and after your treatments to maintain the results.
This PRP for Melasma page was written by industry expert Naila Malik MD of the Dallas Regenerative PRP Therapy For Skin, Hair And Sexual Decline