My sweet manicurist shared her newly developed area of darker skin, or hyperpigmentation, on her upper lip. I don’t think a “skin mustache” was what she was actually looking to sport as a young, gorgeous, single gal. Would you like one? Didn’t think so.
Let’s talk about hyperpigmentation when it is in a larger patch on the face, also known as melasma. Melasma usually develops as a result of increased melanocyte production, caused by fluctuations in hormones, or stimulated by sun exposure.
“People with darker skin, such as those of Latin/Hispanic, North African, African-American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean descent are more likely to get melasma. People who have a blood relative who had melasma also are much more likely to get melasma. It likely occurs when the color-making cells in the skin (melanocytes) produce too much color. People with skin of color are more prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes than those with light skin.
Sun exposure is why melasma often is worse in summer. It also is the main reason why many people with melasma get it again and again. Pregnancy, birth control pills and hormone replacement medicine can trigger melasma, and skin care products that irritate the skin may worsen melasma.”
What can be done to treat patches of melasma when they crop up?
- Stay out of the sun and use 30 spf sunscreen if you do go out in the sun.
- Switch skin care or cosmetic products – go for a natural line.
- Have your hormones, and hormone supplements evaluated by a physician.
- Twice a week mild Gylcolic Peel with N-Acetyl Glucosamine will slowly exfoliate the darker layers of melanocytes and help reduce further production, once hormones are in check.
Product recommendation: Celloxylin MD 20Ex Acid Peel – for professional and at home use. Mild, yet very effective when used consistently.
Hope this helps!