If you've ever experienced melasma you'll know it can be a long and frustrating journey. Characterised by dark, discolored patches of skin, usually on the face, the exact cause of melasma is not fully understood, several factors are believed to contribute to its development including hormones and environmental triggers. While it's important to consult with a skincare professional for a personalised treatment plan, here are a few general tips for managing melasma:
Sun Protection - Sun exposure is a major trigger for melasma. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day, rain or shine, cloudy skies or clear. Finding the right sunscreen for you will be a game-changer.
ALWAYS wear a hat - Don't leave home without a wide-brimmed hat. Ideally, one with UPF50+ which blocks out 98% of UV rays when worn, providing excellent protection from sun damage which can further darken pre-existing melasma.
Avoid Triggers - Identify and avoid triggers that worsen melasma, such as hormonal fluctuations and certain medications. Discuss potential triggers with your dermatologist to work out a plan.
Topical Treatments - Your skincare specialist may recommend topical treatments to help lighten the dark patches over time.
Moisturise - Apply a moisturiser suitable for your skin type to keep your skin hydrated and maintain its barrier function.
Consistency is Key - Treating melasma takes time and consistency. Stick to your treatment plan as recommended by your dermatologist, and be patient with the results. A packable sunhat to pop in your backpack or handbag will ensure you’re never caught out.
Remember that melasma can be stubborn and may require ongoing management. What works for one person might not work for another, so it's crucial to work closely with a dermatologist to determine the best treatment approach specific to you. Wear sunscreen every day and don’t forget your hat!