Has your face become uneven in colour? Do you have darker patches of skin on your upper cheeks, nose and forehead? If you have developed ‘the pregnancy mask” (hyper-pigmentation/Melasma), you may have been advised it’s difficult to treat. And that is partially true.
The pregnancy mask can be difficult to treat for some skin types. But if you’re skin is prone to hyper-pigmentation, don’t give up until you’ve tried Coco Ruby’s Dermamelan Masque Treatment for Melasma. It’s a low-down time, highly effective treatment for suitable patients wanting a more even skin tone.
Phone (03) 8849 1400 and ask for a skin assessment from a Dermal Clinician to find out more. Or read on to discover WHY some people get MELASMA (“The Pregnancy Mask”) and what can be done to minimise your risks OR treat your skin pigmentation problems.
Risk Factors for Melasma: Top 10 Risk Factors for The “Pregnancy Mask” and other Skin Pigmentation Problems
The so-called “pregnancy mask” (Melasma), is a pattern of hyperpigmentation that is common in Australia. It is believed to impact 1 out of every 4 females (approximately 25%) and up to 1 out of every 20 males. Although one of the main causes of Melasma (facial pigmentation) is pregnancy, this obviously is not one of the causes for men.
Why is Melasma called a “pregnancy mask”?
Melasma is called the “pregnancy mask” because for some women, it first shows up during pregnancy. Most cases of Melasma or skin hyper-pigmentation are, in fact, unrelated to conception or pregnancy.
For facial pigmentation concerns or sun spots, a good Dermal Clinician will recommend a thorough at-home care plan and specific in-Clinic treatments to reduce the uneven skin pigmentation and give you fresher looking skin.
Treating Melasma: Reasons & Risks to needing Dermamelan Masque Treatments at Coco Ruby Skin & Anti-Ageing in Melbourne.
Here are 10 more of the most common risk factors for developing the Pregnancy Mask (Melasma) or other facial skin pigmentation problems.
1) Working outdoors can increase your Melasma risks
- Being exposed to UVA and UVB rays all day through working outside or in direct sunlight is a significant risk factor for melasma, according to this 2014 study by the British Association of Dermatologists.
- Even driving a lot in Australian’s sun light can lead to skin pigmentation problems and sun spots.
If you are getting the Dermamelan Mask Treatment for Melasma, be sure you ask your Dermal Clinician the best way to prevent further sun damage to your skin.
2) Taking Anti-depressants can leave you vulnerable to Melasma pigmentation problems and other sun sensitivity including Sun Burn (and remember, sun burns are a risk for developing skin cancers)
- If you are taking anti-depressants or anxiolytics, you may be more sensitive to sunlight and therefore have an increased risk of melasma.
- If this is applies, it might be a good idea to talk your concerns through with your GP.
- See a Dermal Clinician for high-grade Sun Screens.
Tip: You can also purchase LYCOGEL medicated-makeup to cover pigmentation AND reduce the visibility of redness after certain skin care treatments.
3) Long-term use of oral contraceptives can lead to higher risks of developing the ‘pregnancy mask ‘ (Melasma)
- Similarly, working to AVOID pregnancy can lead to ‘the pregnancy mask’ developing due to hormonal changes created by using oral contraceptives.
- Years of using the birth control pill (oral contraceptives) also presents as a greater risk factor for hyper-pigmentation problems, such as melasma.
4) Family history may leave you prone to Pigmentation Problems
- Melasma has a genetic marker. So having a family history of the condition does present itself as a risk factor for developing the ‘pregnancy mask’ of Melasma.
- The 2014 study reveals that a family history of pigmentation problems such as Melasma was reported by 61% of those who had the condition.
- For example, if one of your parents OR siblings has developed the pregnancy mask, your chances of developing it are higher.
5) Living in the countryside or beach can leave you prone to greater sun damage
- If you live in Australia versus many other countries, your risks of sun damage (and skin cancers such as Melanoma) are elevated. Be sure you get your skin checked annually by a professional!
- The 2014 study mentioned above also found that rural or coastal dwellers tended to have a higher incidence of Melasma, which means risks may be higher when you live with an “outdoorsy nature” or frequent the beach or poolside.
6) Exposure to pollution may elevate skin problems
- A different study, from 2015, considered environmental pollution to be another potential risk factor for developing melasma.
- Why is this thought to be a risk factor? Apparently, polluted airborne particles enter the skin and generate reactions that trigger the ageing process.
7) Particular skin types are more prone to pregnancy mask risks (Melasma) than others
- The more pigment your skin has normally, the more likely you are to develop the pregnancy mask.
- Skin types III to VI (higher pigmentation or richer in melanin) tend to have the highest incidences of melasma and are considered to be a risk factor for Melasma.
Do you need sun protection if your skin is dark?
The answer is YES, Definitely. Even darker skin needs sun protection.
Especially if you want to stay looking younger for longer.
Dark skin tends to age better than lighter skin, which shows sun damage more readily (it is also prone to dryness and fine lines and wrinkles at earlier ages, although every person is different).
This helps debunk the myth that skin rich in melanin does not need as much UVA or UVB protection as skin with less melanin.
Everyone needs to protect their skin from ultra violet rays and particularly those with higher risk factors for melasma – especially those of Latin, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African heritage, according to the 2015 study.
8) People living in certain geographical locations
- Although there are just more people overall in certain countries, the 2015 study also found that people living in China, India, South East Asia and the United States had the highest humber of melasma cases (and also the highest levels of air pollution).
- So air pollution DOES seem to be linked with risks of developing the pregnancy mask.
- Australia, however, has a very high rate of Skin Cancer and pigmentation problems related to coastal living and high amounts of sun exposure.
9) Activities in the sun can lead to higher risks of developing the pregnancy mask pigmentation problem.
- Spending lots of time outside doing leisure activities also presents itself in both the 2014 and 2015 studies as being a risk factor for melasma.
- This might include snow skiing, Beach Volleyball, Netball, Soft Ball, swimming, surfing, jogging, running, cycling, sailing and paddle boarding.
- Driving in the car also exposes your skin to higher risks of developing melasma.
The importance of sunscreen and, covering up and avoiding too much sun time cannot be overstated, it seems!
10) Irregular periods may mean hormonal imbalances – and hormones DO impact your photosensitivity and skin pigmentation.
- Hormonal imbalances increase photosensitivity.
- So having irregular periods (with hormone levels fluctuating) means that this is also a risk factor for melasma.
So what CAN be done about the pregnancy mask (Melasma)?
Although pregnant women do develop the ‘pregnancy mask’ (condition of melasma), these 10 risk factors can lead to higher risks.
The more Melasma risks you have, the greater the likelihood you may develop that pigmentation condition. But although in the past it was very difficult to treat, here at Coco Ruby in Melbourne, we have signature treatments that use Dermamalen and customised home-care systems to get your skin back to a more even skin tone. It does take time and you’ll need to be diligent, patient and follow the sun protection guidelines your Dermal Clinician gives you.
If you have pigmentation problems on your face – whether related to pregnancy or not – and would like to learn more about ways to reduce your risks or get your skin looking more even in tone again, please contact our Dermal Clinicians for a Skin Assessment and Dermamelan Mask treatment for Melasma. Click here for Melasma Research Articles.
If you would like to hear more about the professional treatments that we offer for melasma and other forms of hyper-pigmentation,please complete a confidential enquiry form. Or, alternatively, you can speak to one of our Patient Care Coordinators by calling (03) 8849 1444.