What makes melasma darker?


Melasma triggers and how you can stop them



Environmental triggers stimulate the inflammatory process and melanin synthesis—threatening healthy skin. The combination of UV-A, UV-B and pollution overwhelm the skin with free radicals and contribute to discolorations, fine lines, wrinkles, and other visible signs of aged skin. Sunscreen and a Vitamin C serum play a critical role in helping to manage melasma. Remember to increase application frequency with sun exposure.   


Like acne, melasma is triggered by hormones. Birth control pills and pregnancy are the leading sources of melasma, but the melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) is a primary culprit for skin darkening. You can talk to your Gynecologist about different options that will help you manage your family planning, but the results may, or may not, help improve melasma skin concerns.  


Not all facial treatments are suitable for women with melasma. Overactive melanocytes respond quickly to trauma or inflammation of the skin. Aggressive peel solutions, microdermabrasion procedures, and IPL or laser treatments can excite melanocytes and darken the skin. Slow and steady is best when it comes to treating melasma. Very light facial peels, like lactic acid, and regular-use of melanin suppression skin care at home are the best treatments. 


Trauma and heat can trigger melanin production if you are predisposed to melasma. Opt to tweeze or shave unwanted facial hair to help protect your skin. Facial hair will not grow back thicker with shaving.  


In some women with melasma, exercise, saunas, jacuzzis and other sources of significant heat for the body can trigger darkening of the skin. If you experience this kind of trigger, opt to keep cool. 


Here's our recommendations that suppress melasma symptoms: