What are Brown Spots (Melasma)?

Melasma is the term for the patchy, brown discolouration that appears on the face, notably on your forehead, cheeks, chin and upper lip.

The root cause is overproduction of melanin by the cells responsible for pigment (melanocytes), and it can be triggered by sun exposure or hormonal fluctuations.

Wearing sunscreen and minimising sun exposure is recommended as good practise for all skin types, but people with Melasma need to avoid dun exposure year-round to minimise the condition. However, it’s often caused by factors affecting hormones, like birth control pills or pregnancy.

Treating Melasma can be complicated, and sometimes needs a combination of therapies to effectively address it.

The good news is that there are many treatment options at Slievemore Clinic, from topical therapies to chemical peels and laser, to help you achieve results.

Some of the treatments shouldn’t be used during pregnancy, which is why it’s important to seek professional treatment from, and be monitored by, a cosmetic doctor like Dr. Lisa Fay at Slievemore Clinic.

Topical Treatments for Brown Spots & Malasma

There are topical therapies, like glycolic and TCA peels, to treat Melasma. A course of peels will help improve pigmentation, as will a topical retinoid like Retin-A.

IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Photorejuvenation can also help, and is often used in combination with other therapies to reduce pigmentation.

Obagi Nu Derm is a physician- prescribed skin care system, so Dr. Fay can recommend it if she feels it’s suitable for your skin, and closely monitor your progress. It contains prescription strength ingredients which affect the skin at cellular level, accelerating skin cell turnover.

It improves damage in the skin layers, reduces the pigmentation you already have and prevents further pigmentation from forming. Obagi Nu-Derm also has the added benefit of increasing collagen production and refining skin tone, so it improves your overall appearance, leaving your face much brighter and smoother.

Amelan is a single mask treatment, which was designed by a plastic surgeon to improve Melasma. Only one mask is needed and it’s highly effective, reducing pigmentation marks by inhibiting the formation of melanin. It’s applied at the clinic, left on for 4-6 hours and then gently removed, followed by intense moisturising treatments for 48 hours.

You come back to the clinic after two days for a follow-up, and will be given Amelan M home care cream to continue a schedule at home. Amelan reduces the appearance of pigmentation marks by 95% after about 28 days (the time it takes for new skin cell growth), although you’ll notice an improvement after a week.

Call the Slievemore Clinic at 01 685 3100 and book your consultation; you’ll be in safe hands.