7 Reasons to Consult a Melasma Specialist

When you get pregnant, everyone tells you that you are glowing. The brown patches across your face are probably not the pregnancy glow up that you were expecting. It’s called melasma, and it is very common for pregnant women, but it can also occur even if you aren’t pregnant. 

Don’t worry! There is no need to invest in expensive makeup products to hide the brown patches. Dr. Qazi is a melasma specialist and he can help! If you have questions or need a diagnosis, schedule a consultation at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic today. 

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a condition in which brown or gray-brown patches appear on the cheeks, forehead, nose, or chin. It is usually caused by sun exposure or hormonal changes during pregnancy. Men can develop this condition, but it is much more common in women.

While melasma is not painful and does not present any health risks, it is a condition that can cause significant emotional distress. Because it can be difficult to treat and can last many years, many women develop severe insecurities about their melasma. 

If you developed this condition during pregnancy or after starting birth control pills, then it will likely fade on its own after you give birth or after you stop the pills. If you are not pregnant, then your melasma will require treatment from a specialist. 

What Causes Melasma? 

  • Hormone Fluctuations can cause melasma, which is why it often occurs during pregnancy. Other hormonal changes such as stopping or starting birth control and hormone replacement therapy can also cause melasma. 
  • Sun Exposure is also a big culprit. Underlying factors such as hormonal changes may not manifest until a person goes on vacation… The sun is the major exacerbating factor, whatever the underlying cause.

Melasma can be worsened by heat and visible light as well as the sun, so sunscreen isn’t enough to protect against it. 

  • Having a Darker Skin Tone also puts you at greater risk for developing melasma. Because your skin naturally has more active pigment-producing cells, melasma can appear when these cells become hyperactive and produce too much pigment. 
  • There is a Genetic Component to melasma, meaning that it often runs in families. While it is more common in women, men can also be affected, especially if other members of their family have melasma.

If you have melasma, then it is very important that you see a specialist. 

Here are 7 Reasons to Consult a Melasma Specialist: 

1. Get an Accurate Diagnosis

It is possible for patients to observe their brown patches and self-diagnose their condition. However, there are a number of other skin conditions that can be easily mistaken for melasma, such as certain kinds of skin cancer. This is why it is very important that you consult a specialist to make sure that your melasma is not another, more serious condition. 

Melasma specialists like Dr. Qazi are experienced at treating this condition, so they can usually diagnose you just by examining your skin. Dr. Qazi may use a wood’s light to see how deeply the melasma has penetrated your skin. 

Since melasma can look like other skin conditions, it may be necessary to rule out other conditions before giving you a final diagnosis. A specialist may take a skin biopsy to examine under a microscope in order to diagnose you. 

2. A Specialist Can Advise You on Preventive Measures 

If you are at risk for developing melasma or if it runs in your family, a specialist can recommend some preventive measures to protect against what can trigger melasma. Specialists often recommend protecting yourself from the sun and heat. This means wearing protective clothing, staying inside during peak UV hours, and vacationing in more mild climates. 

It is also recommended that you maintain a good skin care routine and avoid doing things that may irritate your skin. In some cases, waxing causes skin inflammation, which has made patients’ melasma worse. 

For female melasma patients, switching to a non-hormonal birth control can be enough to clear up their melasma or to prevent it from developing altogether. 

 3. Learn About Your Treatment Options

In some cases, melasma can fade on its own after a woman gives birth or switches to a non-hormonal form of birth control. However, in other cases, melasma can last for years or even a lifetime. If your melasma does not go away on its own, then you may require treatment from a melasma specialist. Treatments for melasma include: 

  • Hydroquinone: This is the gold standard for treatment. It comes as a cream, lotion, gel, or liquid and works by lightening the skin where it is applied. It can be purchased without a prescription, but a product that a specialist prescribes will contain more hydroquinone than a product off the shelf.
  • Tretinoin and Corticosteroids: To enhance the treatment, a specialist may prescribe a secondary medication. Some products contain hydroquinone, tretinoin, and a corticosteroid. Recent studies suggest that combining an oral medication with other treatments can produce better results than either treatment alone. 
  • Chemical Peel: This procedure is used to treat a variety of cosmetic ailments. It is highly effective at treating melasma by removing unwanted pigmentation from the skin using a safe, controlled chemical burn to the skin. 
  • Laser Treatment: If topical treatments are not reducing your melasma, then laser treatment may be more effective. When you consult a melasma specialist like Dr. Qazi, he will be able to customize a melasma treatment plan to meet your individual needs. 

4. On-Going Maintenance Therapy

For many people, melasma is a life-long condition. Even if you get it treated once with a chemical peel or laser treatment, it is possible for the condition to relapse. A specialist like Dr. Qazi will be able to help you create a relapse prevention routine and prescribe topical treatments that can reduce the chances that your brown patches will come back. 

5. Working With an Expert Can Help You Avoid Scams

Because melasma is so common, there are a lot of flashy advertisements trying to sell women miracle creams that don’t work. Bloggers and influencers may also hawk their DIY treatments with promises of instant whitening and impressive before & after photos. However, these treatments do not work and it is usually a scam just to take your money. 

Seeing a board-certified melasma specialist like Dr. Qazi can help you avoid falling for these scams. Dr. Qazi can create a treatment and maintenance plan that is backed by the latest science in order to treat your melasma effectively.

Don’t fall for those miracle creams and risky, discounted laser treatments! Contact Dr. Qazi to learn more about safe, scientifically proven treatment options for your melasma. 

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     6. A Melasma Specialist Can Answer All Your Questions

    If you have questions about your melasma, a specialist can answer all your questions. At Qazi Cosmetic Clinic in Orange County, CA, we get a lot of questions about melasma and treatment options. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions: 

    Are there certain patients for whom these therapies work best? 

    Everyone’s skin is different, this is why you should consult a specialist to get a personalized treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. How well these therapies work depends on your skin and what type of melasma you have.

    Everyone’s skin is different, this is why you should consult a specialist to get a personalized treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. How well these therapies work depends on your skin and what type of melasma you have.

    Epidermal melasma is characterized by dark patches with a well-defined border. If you have this type, your melasma will likely respond very well to topical treatments. Dermal melasma is lighter brown or bluish with a less-defined border. If you have this type of melasma, it does not respond very well to treatment, so you may require an in-office procedure for treatment. 

    For some patients, in-office procedures like laser treatment and chemical peels are highly effective at treating their melasma. However, some patients find that when their skin is irritated by heat or chemicals, it makes their melasma worse.

    In order to treat your melasma as effectively as possible, it is important to see a specialist who can properly diagnose what kind of melasma you have and formulate a treatment that works with your skin type. 

    How long does a topical treatment take to work?

    It varies by person. With topical treatments, the depigmenting effects should appear after 5-7 weeks of use. It is recommended that you continue treatment for at least three months. 

    What is the timeline for laser treatments and chemical peels? 

    Laser treatment produces instant results, but requires some recovery time. The laser treatment itself usually only takes about an hour or so, during which time you will be kept comfortable and offered a numbing cream to reduce discomfort. Immediately after the procedure, you will experience redness on the face that lasts for about an hour before it subsides. On the first day after the procedure, the treated area will be bronze-tinted and dry like sandpaper. It takes about a week for the tarnished cells to be shed and for the results to show. 

    Chemical peels also require some recovery time. Immediately after the procedure, you will experience some burning, redness, itching, and tightness. Dr. Qazi recommends that you avoid washing your face with hot water, scratching off the dry skin, using makeup, exfoliating, or going out in the sun for at least 10 days after the procedure. 

    The recovery time for your chemical peel depends on what kind of peel treatment you got. A light chemical peel comes with 4 to 7 days of recovery time. A medium peel will take 5 to 7 days to recover from and may involve some swelling and blotching before finally revealing new skin. A deep chemical peel involves more severe swelling, redness, and throbbing. It is common for the eyelids to swell shut after the procedure. With this procedure, it takes about two weeks for new skin to develop, but white spots, cysts, and redness may persist for several months. 

    The best way to reduce your recovery time after a laser treatment or chemical peel is to faithfully follow your melasma specialist’s care instructions. Some of these instructions may include staying out of the sun, specific instructions on how to wash your face, avoid using makeup, and apply ice packs for 20 minutes at a time.  

     7. A Specialist Can Help With All Your Aesthetic Goals

    Not only is Dr. Nadir Qazi a melasma specialist, he also offers a variety of non-surgical cosmetic procedures to contour, enhance, and restore your face and body. If you have premature signs of aging that make you feel self-conscious or if you are seeking enhancements to boost your confidence, then Dr. Qazi can help!

    Life’s too short to be unhappy with your appearance.

    If you are insecure about your cellulite or your jawline and it is preventing you from enjoying social events or hopping into group photos, then you owe it to yourself to do something about it!

    How is Melasma Different From Hyperpigmentation? 

    Hyperpigmentation is also a condition that causes skin discoloration, so it is often conflated with melasma.  However, there are several key differences between the two. Hyperpigmentation is a broad term that refers to skin conditions in which the skin is darkened or discolored. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including sun damage and acne scarring. Hyperpigmentation can affect everyone and can occur on different areas of the body.

    Chemical Peel LIVE! (In English & Spanish) Clearing Dark Spots and Melasma with Customized Peel

    Many patients that visit our cosmetic clinic have told us about their struggles with melasma and dark spots on their faces. This particular patient wanted to clear up her skin of discolorations without any pain or discomfort. Luckily, she came to the perfect place. Our clinic specializes in melasma treatments and remedies to treat skin irregularities. We like to create a customized treatment plan for each of our patients’ unique skincare needs. Our office offers a variety of treatment plans that include lasers, medical-grade chemical peels, and more. It is our priority to treat patients and help them with all of their skincare needs. Although we don’t advise against home remedies, we want patients to be aware that some acids found in these remedies can actually cause more harm than good. This is why patients must go to a melasma expert like Dr. Qazi, to get a professionally customized treatment. Contact us now to learn more about our medical-grade chemical peels and our other skin care treatments.

    Posted by Qazi Cosmetic Clinic & Med Spa – Dr. Nadir Qazi on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

    In contrast, melasma is a specific skin condition that causes brown spots on the face and predominantly affects women. It is easy to mistake melasma for hyperpigmentation or visa versa when trying to self-diagnose. The best way to figure out if you actually have melasma is to see a melasma specialist. 

    Schedule a Consultation!

    If you need a melasma specialist in Orange County to treat your brown patches, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nadir Qazi today! Dr. Qazi can diagnose your skin discoloration, create a customized treatment plan, advise you on prevention, and help you monitor your melasma for signs of relapse.

    If you are interested in other confidence-boosting cosmetic enhancements, Dr. Qazi can help with that too. At Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, we want to help you achieve all your aesthetic goals so you can live your best life. 

    By: Dr. Nadir Qazi

    Dr. Nadir Qazi is a board certified physician specializing in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and an instructor for advanced injections and laser techniques.

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