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A common skin issue that many people experience in Malaysia is Melasma or Pigmentation.
Melasma occurs when the homeostatic mechanisms that regulate skin pigmentation are disrupted, causing an overproduction of pigmentation.
The condition causes grayish brown patches of pigmentation to form on the skin, usually on the face in the cheek, chin, forehead, upper lip, and bridge of the nose.
Some many experience Melasma on areas of the body that have been over-exposed to the sun, such as the neck and forearms.
Melasma occurs more in women and is a common skin condition that happens during pregnancy due to the fluctuation of hormones. In these cases, Melasma will generally fade on its own. With more stubborn cases, however, treatments are needed to eliminate Melasma.
Pigmentation / Melasma Treatment in Malaysia (5 Options)
Melasma can be treated by our doctor with a number of options, including medications, topical applications, laser treatments, and chemical peels.
Option 1: Topical Treatments
Skin lightening medications are treatments that are applied to the skin via a cream that works to lighten dark patches. These are sometimes used together in what is known as a triple cream.
In cases where topical medications aren’t working to get rid of Melasma, other treatments can be used, such as dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser or light-based treatments.
Option 2: Chemical Peels
Chemical peels are a procedure that uses chemical solutions to resurface the skin.
Solutions such as alpha hydroxy, salicylic, and trichloroacetic acids are applied to the affected areas and work to remove the top layer of skin which contain the pigmentation. This promotes new cell regeneration of cells that do not have this pigmentation.
Option 3: Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion
In both of these procedures, an abrasive element is used to remove the outer layers of the skin.
With dermabrasion, an abrasive brush or wheel is used on the affected areas. Microdermabrasion is a less aggressive treatment that uses tiny crystals that are sprayed onto the areas affected to help remove the outer layers. Both procedures work to exfoliate the skin to boost the process of cell rejuvenation.
Option 4: Micro-needling
For micro-needling treatments, the skin is punctured repeatedly with very tiny needles. This helps any topical creams used for Melasma to penetrate more deeply.
It works by breaking the blood vessels just under the skin, which then increases the supply of blood to the area, allowing for new healthy cells and collagen to form.
Option 5: Laser and Light-based Treatments
There are a few different types of laser treatments used in treating Melasma, such as non-ablative fractionated laser and intense pulsed light treatments.
Some laser treatments will work to remove the outer layer of the skin, others will target the melanocytes, or cells that produce the pigment.
Laser and light therapy treatments deliver energy to the skin that changes the melanins molecular structure to eradicate discolorations.
No. Hyperpigmentation is a broader term used to describe any darkening of the skin. While Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that is triggered by hormonal influences and UV exposure. It’s the hormonal aspect of Melasma that makes it very different from hyperpigmentation.
The type of treatment you receive and the number of sessions will differ from each person based on the severity of their Melasma. Generally, 3 to 4 treatments will show noticeable improvement.
Melasma is a chronic condition that will slowly develop over time. In some cases, dark patches will slowly disappear over time without treatment and with preventative measures, such as using sunscreen.