Melasma is a skin condition that results in dark brown or black patches of hyperpigmentation (discolouration) that appear on various parts of the skin, typically around the shoulders, neck, and face. Women who have light to dark skin tones are more likely to develop Melasma as a result of excessive sun exposure and other causes. Hormonal changes associated with birth control are one of the most common Melasma causes. Luckily, there are effective Melasma treatment and management options available in Toronto.
How Does Birth Control Cause Melasma?
Melasma can be one of the leading side effects of estrogen- or progesterone-based birth control.
Estrogen is a leading factor in terms of the hyperpigmentation of the skin. Your skin consists of several layers, including the epidermis which contains melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce and store melanin in the skin. People with darker skin tones have more melanin than people with lighter skin tones. Several factors, including varying levels of sun exposure and hormonal imbalances caused by pregnancy or birth control, contribute to the overproduction of melanin. This results in hyperpigmentation throughout the body.
Do All Birth Control Medications Cause Melasma?
Whether or not you develop Melasma while on birth control depends on several factors. If you have a genetic predisposition or family history of Melasma, then you are more likely to develop it yourself regardless of whether or not you take birth control.
Any level of hormonal imbalance in your system can cause hyperpigmentation and an uneven skin tone. The risk of discolouration increases as you age and especially if you fail to use proper sun protection on a regular basis. However, birth control options that contain higher levels of estrogen or progesterone will also increase your risk of developing Melasma.
Types of Birth Control That Can Cause Melasma:
- Oral contraceptives (the pill)
- Birth control patch
- Intravenous birth control injections
- Intrauterine devices (IUD)
- Vaginal rings
Birth Control Options That Don’t Cause Melasma:
- Spermicidal gels or creams
- Cervical caps
- Contraceptive sponges
Can Melasma Clear Up Once You Stop Using Birth Control?
If the birth control is what caused the Melasma in the first place, then the chances are that it’ll most likely clear up once you switch to a non-hormonal contraceptive or stop it altogether.
However, Melasma that continues or becomes unmanageable after stopping birth control is most likely a side effect or symptom of something else. You should talk to your doctor or a skincare specialist about what could potentially be causing your Melasma. It could be a genetic disorder, a side effect of certain medications, a hormonal imbalance, or even that you’re getting too much unprotected sun exposure.
Where to Get Effective Melasma Treatment in Toronto?
Don’t let your Melasma take over your life. There are a number of clinical Melasma removal treatments in Toronto that you can try. At the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic, we specialize in Laser Spectra Peel treatment, laser toning, and microdermabrasion. All of these are completely safe, minimally-invasive in-office Melasma removal treatments that are approved by Health Canada and the FDA. Contact us today if you have any questions or to book an appointment.