Melasma Long Island , NY

Melasma is a benign skin condition presenting as a dark patch.  The most common locations are the cheeks, chin, and forehead. Furthermore, during pregnancy one may develop a form of melasma known as Chloasma.  However, Melasma often affects other areas of the face. Several treatments help reduce Melasma such as Q or Picosecond Lasers, Hydroquinone cream and Chemical Peels.

On Long Island, Melasma is a concern due to the short but intense period of sun exposure. Thus, we see an increase during the Long Island summers.

Moreover, UV rays excite melanocytes which create melanin. In turn, the new melanin creates irregular dark patches of skin. Therefore, any Melasma control program must include reducing sun exposure.

Notably, over 6 million people, mainly Asian and Hispanic persons, are affected by Melasma. However, anyone can develop Melasma.

Furthermore, Long Island, with its intense sunshine, is an area with a high seasonal melasma incidence.

Unfortunately, Melasma is not curable but definitely controllable.

Melasma on the cheek treatable with lasers, hydroquinine, microneedeling and peels
Causes of Melasam

What causes Melasma

Multiple factors can cause melasma.

  • Birth control pills
  • Hormones
  • Pregnancy ( chloasma or the mask of pregnancy)
  • Estrogens
  • Family History

However, sun exposure and UV light remain substantial factors for developing Melasma.

Does Melasma Get Better?

On the positive side, in time, Melasma can resolve.

One instance is after pregnancy. The mask of pregnancy known as chloasma is a form of Melasma owing to hormone changes. Thus, the Melasma improves after giving birth as hormones return to normal.

preventing melasma

Can I prevent Melasma ?

Preventing Melasma on Long Island NY can be difficult to accomplish. Especially because preventing Melasma requires sun avoidance 

Since multiple factors cause Melasma you can reduce your risk by removing these factors.  Remarkably simple solutions such as wearing hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and keeping the skin cool go a long way. This is especially true for Melasma on Long Island where sun exposure during the summer is high.

Lightening creams aka brightening creams such as Hydroquinone prevent melanin production, therefore, reducing or eliminating pigmentation.

Since sun exposure triggers Melasma,  avoiding sun exposure is a must. Moreover, both UVA and UVB rays from the sun can trigger Melasma, not to mention skin cancer.

Thus,  one should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily.

Moreover, the sunscreen should contain a physical UV blocker such as Zinc or, titanium both of which physically block UVA and UVB rays.. 

 The physical block is either Zinc or titanium and blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

Notably, everyone should apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun, especially those trying to prevent Melasma or those with a history of skin cancer. 

Measures to Reduce Sun exposure and melasma : Long Island

  • Wide rim hats
  • Face coverings especially working outdoors ie. gardening
  • Large sunglasses
  • Keeping the face cool and frequently washing especially when sweating
Melasma before after Long Island
Hydroquinone melasma

Treatments for Melasma

There are many treatments available to reduce Melasma. Although some can worsen the condition.

Hydroquinone 4% will suppress a chemical required to create melanin. Therefore, in turn stop the production of more pigment. Hydroquinone is also known as lightening cream.

Exfoliants are excellent but should not be used daily. Instead, using them every  third day will avoid aggravating the melanocytes.

Whereas there are lasers that help treat melasma IPL or Photofacials should be avoided. These release to much heat and make Melasma worse.

Moreover, other treatments will help reduce Melasma:

  • Chemical Peels
  • Microneedeling
  • Fraxil
  • Q-Switched Lasers
  • Picosecond Lasers
Laser for melasma

Laser Therapy for Melasma: Long Island

While it may be proper avoidance of sun exposure will reduce the risk of Melasma. Unfortunately, that is not always possible and, despite the best efforts, still become affected.

The good news is several lasers will reduce or even eliminate Melasma. The Q-Switched YAG, for instance, is an excellent choice for treating Melasma. Moreover, you can still use your exfoliants and Hydroquinine to reduce new melanin during my Q- laser therapy.

Moreover,  Picosecond lasers will reduce the density of Melasma as well. Picosecond lasers are newer and thus more expensive. Therefore, using the Q Switched lasers may be more affordable with the same end result.

Unfortunately, a series of sessions a few weeks apart is necessary to treat Melasma properly. In my Long Island Office, the Soft Peel Spectra is excellent for reducing the pigment.

Melasma During Pregnancy

There are multiple hormone changes that occur during pregnancy that can affect your skin. Some of these hormones cause Acne while others may cause melanocytes to produce melanin thus creating a patch of dark skin.

This pigmentation or melasma during pregnancy goes by several names, one being the mask of pregnancy. However, the medical term for melasma during pregnancy is Chloasma.

Of note, Chloasma once the hormones return to normal resolves. On occasion, Chlosama dosent resolve then using q switched, picosecond lasers , hydroquinone and chemical peels will resolve the condition.

Hydroquinone for melasma

Hydroquinone prevents new melanin formation thus considered a natural lightening cream.  However, it should never be used more than 12 consecutive weeks.

Thus, when used properly Hydroquinone will prevent the formation of new pigment and allow your body to remove the old pigment.