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Melasma vs. Hyperpigmentation: Know the Difference

Posted By: Lic. Silvia Derasner | June 5th, 2019 | Blog

You may have heard of the term hyperpigmentation. It is a broad term that refers to discoloured or darkened skin, which is brought on by many different factors. However, there is a particular type of hyperpigmentation that has often been misunderstood. This condition is known as Melasma. Melasma affects approximately 25% of women during pregnancy, and between 4% to 10% of the overall population, primarily women. Although it does not affect your health, it can make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. Here’s what you need to know about Melasma vs. hyperpigmentation, and where you can get effective Melasma and hyperpigmentation treatments near you.


Melasma vs. Hyperpigmentation


What Is Melasma?


Melasma is a skin condition that is characterized by darker patches of skin. These patches normally appear on areas of the face such as the cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin. For most women, these changes occur as a result of hormonal changes, such as those brought on from the birth control pill or pregnancy. Melasma can come and go, but a small percentage of people have prolonged signs on their skin.


What Is Hyperpigmentation?


Hyperpigmentation is the general discolouration or darkening of the skin caused by acne breakouts, medical conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, and excessive sun exposure and photo damage. When these factors stimulate and access production of the cells responsible for pigment, darker patches appear.


How Is Melasma Different from Hyperpigmentation?


If you’re wondering how Melasma is different from hyperpigmentation, the answer is simple. Hyperpigmentation refers to any type of darkening of the skin, regardless of the cause. Melasma, however, is a skin condition. It is primarily driven by estrogen, which is why it is more common in women. Sun exposure and heat can exacerbate the condition. Another difference is that hyperpigmentation can manifest itself as random spots or patches on the face and neck, but melasma appears in blotchy but symmetrical patterns on the face.


How Are the Treatment Methods Different?


Hyperpigmentation is much easier to treat than Melasma in most cases. It responds well to over the counter or prescription medications such as vitamin C serums, azelaic acid, niacinamide, and hydroquinone. People with hyperpigmentation can also seek chemical peels or laser treatments if the darker pigments run deeper into the layers of the skin.

In most cases, Melasma is more difficult to treat than other types of hyperpigmentation. The treatment methods can vary from patient to patient. Although there are over the counter and prescription products that can treat the discolouration of Melasma, many dermatologists will recommend a laser treatment to target the condition. Since Melasma can come and go on its own, it can be difficult to predict an outbreak. Laser technology can reduce Melasma for the long-term, but the process is not a quick fix. The treatment method known as the Laser Spectra Peel works by using a combination of two procedures that alternate weekly for up to ten weeks as needed. These treatments are non-invasive and provide exceptional benefits.


Spectra Peel for Melasma and Hyperpigmentation


As you can see, the Laser Spectra Peel treatment can treat both Melasma and hyperpigmentation. It provides the same result as four chemical peels in just one session. The benefit of Spectra Peel over a chemical peel is that it does not bring the same complications and pain. Spectra Peel works by removing the epidermis in a safe and gentle way to allow new, healthy, even-toned skin cells to grow in its place. It resurfaces your face to reverse years of Melasma damage, sun damage, hyperpigmentation, and years of aging. It can also be used to treat inflamed acne, sagging skin, freckles, scars, age spots, and enlarged pores. The recovery time is short, it is more affordable than other invasive treatments and it provides long-term results that will boost your confidence. Best of all, the treatment takes under two hours.


What to Expect


The Spectra Peel procedure can help you achieve glowing, youthful skin, as well as a more improved tone and smooth texture. As the skin heals, your complexion will appear clearer, making Melasma and hyperpigmentation fade away. With follow-up appointments, this treatment can be very effective. Here’s what you can expect during the treatment:

  • Your face will be cleaned and toned using topical products.
  • An antibacterial product will be applied to the skin to prevent infection and irritation.
  • A light layer of Spectra lotion will be applied to the skin.
  • The lotion will be warmed up under a steamer.
  • The laser apparatus will be applied to the skin and you will hear a slight snapping sound as the laser fires. You may feel warmth and tingling sensations.
  • The laser will pass over the skin multiple times to have full effectiveness over the treated area.
  • Your face will be cooled down with a cold towel or gel mask.
  • A recovery balm or intensive recovery will be applied to the skin to prevent irritation.
  • Finally, sunscreen will be applied to protect the fresh skin.

The Anti Aging Toronto Clinic’s Melasma and Hyperpigmentation Treatment


If you’ve been searching for a way to reduce or remove the appearance of Melasma or hyperpigmentation on your skin, the Spectra Peel treatment is a great option for you. Since Melasma is caused by hormonal triggers, it is important to find a treatment that is effective but gentle enough to prevent further irritation. The Spectra Peel treatment is the best option on the market!


At the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic, you can benefit from this procedure, as well as other treatments for various skin conditions. We pride ourselves on using the latest clinical methods to give our patients the best anti-aging, body care, and fat loss treatment options. We support our clients being able to make informed decisions about how to pursue solutions for enlarged pores and other skin complications, and we are proud to employ some of the best treatments and practitioners in Toronto.


Feel free to contact us by phone at (416) 546-4664 or by e-mail at info@AntiAgingToronto.ca to ask any questions. Our skincare specialists can also offer you a tour of our Toronto facilities.

With an MBA in computer science, Silvia started out in the IT field with proven success working on strategic initiatives with executive leaders to align an organization’s culture, capabilities, and structure, with business strategies. This career has lead her to a business path founding the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic in 2012. Silvia now holds a diploma in medical esthetics with interests in anti-aging skincare, evening out skin tone and texture, scalp hair regrowth, body contouring and laser hair removal treatments. Silvia believes in the importance of building open, trusting relationships with her clients and prides herself on excellent customer service. Whether it’s developing the business or awarding her clients with significant results, Silvia is committed to offering only the best. Silvia is the finance director and a medical esthetician at Anti Aging Toronto Clinic. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.

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