Melasma is characterized by brown or grey patchy discolouration and usually appears on the forehead, cheeks and chin in women ages 25-50. The causes of melasma range from sun exposure, birth control pills, medications, pregnancy or heat. Melasma can be very challenging for patients as they often cover up the discolouration with makeup or concealer. It is important to wear sunscreen and minimize sun exposure to avoid worsening the condition.
Melanocytes are responsible for the production of melanin, which is what gives the skin its colour. Through a process called melanogenisis, melanocyte cells produce melanin which is found in the eyes, skin and hair. The purpose of melanin is to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
The treatments for melasma range from topical medications like hydroquinone to laser treatments. There are many medical grade skin care products for the treatment of melasma, which stop or slow the melanogenisis process. The most common topical treatment for melasma is hydroquinone although there are other options without hydroquinone on the market.
At Beacon Dermatology, we carry products specifically for melasma treatment made by Zo SkinHealth, SkinMedica and Vivier. All of which are excellent treatment options and are cosmetically elegant.
Laser treatments are commonly used to treat melasma, however the type of laser and the skill of the technician is very important. There is no one size fits all treatment for melasma and a full skin consultation is recommended before starting a laser treatment. Our laser treatments include the Pico Focus Array, Q-Switch laser toning and Fraxel. Glycolic peels can also help lift pigment as well.
The medical term for dilated facial veins is called telangiectasia (tel-an-gi-ec-ta-sia). The condition appears as small red or purple clusters of capillaries, often spidery in appearance. Unlike bruises, these broken capillaries do not disappear with time. These dilated vessels can appear anywhere on the body but often appear on the nose, cheek and chin. The causes of telangiectasia are unknown but it is thought that is can be a combination of genetic and environmental factors such as sun exposure, extreme cold, alcohol, pregnancy and aging. It is important to protect your skin from cold and use an SPF to prevent further damage.
The treatment for mild to moderate facial veins is laser therapy. Essentially the laser targets the vessel and seals it together. There is mild discomfort during the treatment and the recovery time is minimal.
Hyperhidrosis is the medical term for excessive sweating. This condition can be very embarrassing for people and limit the type of clothing that can be worn and cause embarrassment in social situations. Around 9 million people in North American suffer from hyperhidrosis yet many people do not talk about it or seek treatment. Sweat is excreted by endocrine glands to regulate body temperature, however many of the areas that are involved with excessive sweating like the hands and underarms are not involved in thermoregulation. There are over the counter topical agents available from a pharmacy and injectable treatments for hyperhidrosis.
Onabotulinumtoxin A is indicated for the treatment of excessive sweating through very small injections in the affected area. It works by temporarily blocking the chemical signals from the nerves that cause sweating to occur. As a result the sweat glands do not produce sweat. The treatment generally lasts 3-6 months. Health care coverage is available in Alberta for this treatment
The Canadian Dermatology Association describes rosacea (row-zay-sha) as bumps, tiny pus filled pimples, and enlarged blood vessels on the skin. Giving the skin a rough, red, uneven appearance. The signs and symptoms of rosacea are:
The prescription treatments utilized for rosacea are antibiotics, tretinoin, metronidazole and steroid creams. We also carry medical grade skin care products specifically formulated to treat sensitive, red skin from ZO SkinHealth and Vivier. Laser treatments are also very efficacious. Beacon Dermatology performs laser treatments with the Excel-V laser and the IPL/BBL yielding great results
Sun spots or solar lentigines are dark portions of the skin that develop from sun exposure. UV rays damage your skin in the epidermis as well as the deep layers and as the skin ages the dark spots (pigment) become more apparent and darker. Sun spots are usually found on the face, chest and hands and arms.
The treatments for sun spots include topical products like hydroquinone, retinol, vitamin c, skin brightening products like Lytera as well as glycolic peels, IPL, Pico Focus Facial and Fraxel.
It is important to regularly check your moles and spots and visit your doctor if you suspect a mole has changed or looks abnormal. If you have had a suspicious mole removed, it is also important to complete an annual mole check with a dermatologist.
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