After the dog days of summer are over and your sun-kissed glow sadly fades away, do you ever have patches of tan that never quite leave? Well, these brownish-gray blotches have a name— Melasma. Colair Beauty Lounge & Med Spa is here to help.
They can show up on your forehead, chin, cheeks, lips, and nose. And they might be around for the long-haul. According to Harvard Medical’s Dr. Barbara Gilchrest, “Women who develop melasma in their teens or 20s or 30s may see it stay around for decades.”
If you’re like us, you’ve taken time in quarantine to bring your skincare game to the next level. If you’re still seeing skin discoloration and dark patches on your face after all your face masks and serums, read on to learn about Melasma and how you can treat it.
What is Melasma?
When pigment cells in your skin start overproducing, it can cause dark spots that are larger than freckles or age spots. This is Melasma, sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy” because it often (although not always) occurs in pregnant women. It’s a painless condition that doesn’t present any health risks which more likely to get Melasma if you’re a woman or have darker skin.
If you’ve noticed darker splotches on your face, you’re not alone–nearly 6 million American women are in the same boat.
What Causes Melasma?
Melasma is a skin condition that causes the appearance of spots and patches that are darker than your natural skin tone. These usually appear on the face as tan, brown, gray-brown, or blue-gray patches or freckles.
The epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, contains cells called melanocytes that produce and store pigment known as melanin. The melanocytes produce more melanin when exposed to heat, light, ultraviolet radiation, or certain elevated hormone levels.
Here are other factors that can cause or aggravate melasma:
- Birth control pills
- Synthetic estrogen
- LED lights
- Phototoxic drugs (that make you sensitive to sunlight such as diuretics, antibiotics, or NSAIDS)
- Certain soaps or skin care products
- Tanning beds
Women with medium to dark skin tones are more likely to develop melasma symptoms than fair-skinned women. Melasma is a disorder that is most commonly developed in women, who develop 90% of the cases.
There are lots of things that can cause Melasma, but the two most common triggers are:
- Hormones: Hormone fluctuations, like those during pregnancy or when starting new birth control, can cause Melasma.
- Sun Exposure: We all know the sun is the enemy of youthful skin, and here’s just one more reason to use SPF. The sun can cause Melasma or worsen existing cases.
Treatments for Melasma
There are ways to reduce and even eliminate Melasma. Do you remember that slightly terrifying insta of Kim K getting her “vampire blood” facial? Well, that was a form of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP). Recent studies have found that PRP is actually a very effective treatment for Melasma.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma is basically a superfood for your skin cells. When injected into the skin’s membrane, it adds a boost of collagen and stimulates new blood vessels and cell growth. You’ll see results are just 2-3 injections.
- Microneedling is another minimally invasive solution for melasma. PRP and Microneedling are like Batman and Robin–they work better together.
Using the Vampire Facial to Treat Melasma
Vampire facials use the body’s own platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, to create an environment that stimulates healing. The growth and healing factors in the PRP injections are one of the strongest growth factors in the body, which help heal the skin. The use of platelet-rich plasma is a proven therapy for melasma treatment and led to the development of the vampire facial.
What Is the Vampire Facial?
A vampire facial is a cosmetic procedure that uses the platelets of your own blood to treat melasma and other skin imperfections. The injections of the blood into the face stimulate collagen regrowth.
Here are the steps involved in a vampire facial:
1. Skin professional preps skin
2. Blood is drawn from your arm
3. Blood is centrifuged to separate platelets
4. Your platelet-rich plasma is injected, with a tiny needle, into areas of your skin that need treatment
How Does It Work?
Once the plasma is injected into your face with a PRP facial, it triggers your body’s natural response to restore the skin.
The growth factors in the plasma help speed the healing process.
Why It’s Worth Trying
The results are clear—vampire facials are effective in treating melasma. They offer a myriad of other reasons to try it.
- Quick treatment time
- Reduced wrinkles and fine lines
- Firmer skin
- Improved skin texture and tone
- Better moisture retention
- Long-lasting results
Microneedling for Melasma
Microneedling makes tiny wounds in the skin that stimulate collagen production.
This does two things: it allows topical treatments to penetrate deeper and work better, and it stimulates the production of collagen. So you can get rid of Melasma and reduce your wrinkles in one fell swoop.
It can help treat melasma, but when you combine microneedling with injections of platelet-rich plasma, the results are impressive.
When you add PRP on top of microneedling, you’ll get a dynamic duo that will wow you with the results. One last word of warning before you make your appointment–Melasma is known to come back, every now and then. If you don’t want to do this whole process twice, don’t forget the golden rule of skincare: SPF, SPF, SPF!
Want to learn more about addressing your melasma? Visit or call Colair Beauty Lounge & Med Spa in Gilbert, Arizona at (480) 923-6138.