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Common Skin Problems - Melasma

In consultation with patients, I’m frequently surprised by the confusion and misinformation that exists out there, even among otherwise educated patients.

It’s no surprise then, that the beauty industry is as successful as it is, with so many markets selling regimens that aren’t based in fact or evidence.

At Skin Essentials we try our best to stick to evidence, and to what works while acknowledging and stressing to patients that as with anything that has a human component to it, individual results may vary.

One of the commonest problems I encounter, as a Woman of Colour (WOC) myself, is that of pigmentation in its various forms.

Whether it’s Melasma, Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH), photo ageing or a mixed form, uneven pigmentation, especially on the face, can be quite distressing and hard to remove completely.

It is a pigment disorder that most commonly occurs in women of childbearing age, though it may affect women at other stages of life, as well as postmenopausal women. It is also far more likely to affect women (1:4) than men (1:20)

Commonly known as the “mask of pregnancy”, it’s causes are varied- from genetics, to ethnicity (more commonly affects women with light brown skin from sunny areas in the world) to the use of hormonal contraceptives, pregnancy and lack of sunscreen use.

Once present, it is typically hard to remove completely and requires meticulous care and treatment to prevent it worsening.

There is so much misconception that abounds about Melasma, and improvement is typically seen with a combination of skin treatments, typically a course of religious sunscreen use, a skincare regimen formulated with Melasma in mind, as well as a course of skin treatments such as graded medical grade chemical peels and/or skin needling.

On the flip side, due to the likelihood of these skin types to be more prone to pigmentation problems, if not undertaken carefully and with a thorough understanding of underlying issues, including any medical conditions that may predispose to it, one may find the condition worsening.

So what works?

While each skin and person is different, here are some general guidelines.

  1. Sunscreen- always, rain or shine, winter or summer, reapplied frequently through the day. Enough to leave a shiny hue on the skin on initial application.
  2. Sun protection, always - even an hour of sun exposure can undo weeks of treatment.
  3. A skincare regimen that incorporates a combination of ingredients that will facilitate increased skin cell turnover and even out skin tone.
  4. A series of skin treatments eg 3-6 sessions of graded chemical peels and/or a series of 3-6 sessions of skin needling
  5. if you are on hormonal contraceptives, consider coming off them as they all have potential to worsen hyperpigmentation
  6. Consider a twice yearly course of SkinBoosters, non-lifting injections of hyaluronic acid under the skin to stimulate collagen and improve evenness of tone and texture.
Before and after skin needling treatments

These are usually conducted under the supervision of a doctor, and once maintenance is achieved, ongoing care as directed.

When is a good time to begin these treatments?

Anytime, but the best time in the Australian climate is often winters- reverse sun damage, and take advantage of the cooler weather to achieve significant gains on skin improvement in time for summer and the holiday season.

Ready to get started?

Get in touch to organise a personalised consultation with Dr Joshi to plan your treatment for your best skin ever.


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Suite 9, 42 Bigge St Liverpool 2170
02 97348845
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