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OZ Aesthetic

Melasma

Patient suffer from melasma

What is melasma?

Melasma is a skin condition that affects women, causing dark patches on the skin primarily on the stomach and face. While pregnant women have a higher chance of melasma, women who are not pregnant can also experience it. It is also referred to as chloasma or pregnancy mask. 

Although melasma is physically harmless, it may cause low self-esteem and feelings of anxiety and embarrassment for women.

What causes melasma?

There are many direct and indirect causes of melasma. These include:

Hormones and pregnancy

Elevated hormone levels such as estrogen and progesterone may cause melasma for some women. This is also linked to why pregnant women may experience melasma, as they have higher levels of these hormones during the third trimester of pregnancy. 

Phototoxic drugs 

Taking medicines regularly that make your skin sensitive to sunlight may also cause melasma.These include antibiotics, retinoids, antipsychotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), diuretics, and other drugs.

Be sure to inform your doctor of all medications you take during a consultation for melasma to rule out any underlying causes. 

Personal care products

Some cosmetics, soaps and lotions may cause melasma as they can trigger a phototoxic reaction or irritate the skin.

Ultraviolet or infrared (heat) light

Exposure to UV light, whether from the sun or from tanning beds, causes melasma in some individuals. It is also known to make existing melasma worse. 

Contraceptive pills (birth control)

Oral contraceptive pills that contain estrogen and progesterone has been linked to increased melasma. 

Hypothyroidism

This condition happens when your thyroid is underactive, which can also trigger melasma.

What are the common types and symptoms of melasma in Singapore?

The symptoms of melasma include:

  • Brown, blue-gray patches on the face or stomach that may also be blotchy 
  • Freckle-like spots 
  • Darkened nipples, armpits and genitals (usually for pregnancy-related melasma)

Is melasma painful?

Melasma does not cause any pain, discomfort or itchiness.

How is melasma diagnosed in Singapore?

Melasma is usually diagnosed through an examination by your dermatologist. The underlying cause can further be determined through blood tests. 

What are the risk factors for melasma?

There are some factors that put you at a higher risk of developing melasma. These include:

  • Women with darker skin complexions
  • Genetics
  • Being pregnant
  • Having a hormonal or endocrine imbalance such as polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Using certain cosmetics
  • Taking phototoxic drugs and/or antiseizure medications regularly
  • Having a vitamin B12 deficiency 
  • Having iron deficiency anemia

What are the treatment options for melasma in Singapore?

Treatment options for melasma are varied and depends on the severity. They include:

Skin lightening medications and creams

Prescription creams to reduce the darkened patches on your skin may be recommended. They usually include ingredients such as hydroquinone, azelaic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide and tranexamic acid. 

Chemical peels

Chemical peel treatments can help reduce melasma by improving skin texture and tone, but can also cause further scarring and inflammation. 

Laser and light therapy

Treatments that use laser and light therapy are often recommended for those with melasma for long-lasting and effective results. We offer the following treatments for melasma patients:

HiPL ( High + IPL)

This treatment used a microsecond multi-pulse device and the latest millisecond technology to treat skin conditons such as melasma and hyperpigmentation. It targets specific areas of the skin with precision and is deemed safe and effective, as well as medically approved in Korea. 

Oz White

This tailored skin whitening programme designed by dermatologists treats pigmentation and melasma disorders. The three-step programme includes HiPL treatment, De:H Brightening Ampoule and De:H Cellulose Whitening Mask to reduce melanin overproduction, repair damaged skin and prevent further melasma. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remove melasma permanently?

With regular treatments, melasma may be permanently reduced significantly but cannot be fully cured. Melasma may naturally fade over time but often does not disappear completely.

Why is it so hard to get rid of melasma?

Melasma can be difficult to get rid of because of the underlying cause. If it’s linked to a medical or hormonal condition, melasma may occur often.

What makes melasma worse?

Sun exposure can worsen melasma, so be sure to limit your time in the sun and use sunscreen with high SPF.

How can I reduce melasma fast?

Treating melasma can take time, depending on the level of severity. Consult a dermatologist to find out about your treatment options.

111 Somerset Road #04-11 TripleOne
Somerset Singapore 238164

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