Local Expert Melasma Dermatologist, Dr. Keith A. Knoell, Waynesboro, VA
Serving Waynesboro, Staunton, Lexington and Harrisonburg, Va
With over 17 years experience as a dermatologist, Dr. Knoell has seen and treated many cases of melasma. Results take time but you can see progress in reducing its appearance.
What Causes Melasma?
Melasma is caused by multiple factors. Generally, we know that there is a genetic predisposition to it because at least one-third of patients report that other family members have been affected by the disease.
Melasma appears on the face as brown, blotchy patches.
Who Is At Risk For Melasma?
Women are more likely than men with onset starting between 20-40 years of age. However, melasma can start in childhood.
What Are The Melasma Triggers?
- Sun damage and over exposure to the sun—It’s critical that people with melasma wear sunscreen daily and lifelong.
- Pregnancy can cause it but general fades a few months following birth
- Hormone treatments like birth control pills, hormone replacement, IUD’s, and implants
- Specific medications, scented or deodorant soaps, cosmetics and other toiletries
There are three types of melasma, epidermal, dermal, and mixed. Talk with your dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis.
How Is Melasma Treated?
Melasma does not resolve quickly, if ever. It’s slow to respond and if you’ve had the disease for a long time, progress can be slower.
That doesn’t mean you should give up! There are topical therapies that inhibit the formation of new pigment, slowing down the disease. Over time, you will see improvement.
Protecting your skin from the sun is the biggest factor with melasma. Over exposure may cause faded areas to re-appear. Wear sunscreen always; generously re-apply, and talk with Dr. Knoell about the topical medicines to help fade melasma.
photo courtesy of www.dermnetnz.org