Have you ever suffered from dark spots or hyperpigmentation on your face?

Hyperpigmentation (Melasma) is common and usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in colour than normal surrounding skin. It is usually easily recognisable by the characteristic pigmentation and distribution on the face.

A couple of years back; I noticed dark spots appearing on the top of my cheeks just under the eyes. I had just returned from a week skiing and it suddenly dawned on me that this was a melasma, which the GP subsequently confirmed.

Hormonal changes such as pregnancy or those on the oral contraceptive pill can often be prone to melasmas. It is often referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’. If you undergo hormonal changes and then expose yourself to the sun, the dark spots can become darker as melanin absorbs the energy from the harmful UV rays. This was what happened to me. Skiers are exposed to the sun’s harmful rays especially up on high mountains. Wearing sun cream with UVA and UVB is a must and should be used every day if prone to melasma.

To treat my melasma I used a pigment lightning gel from Neostrata. It contains glycolic acid and is to be applied twice daily. This gel cleared up my melasma in a matter of weeks. I have since recommended this many times with good success.

I am speaking from my own experience here and not as a health professional so always have a confirmation from your GP or dermatologist first.

If you want to talk to me call into our Market Cross store.

Higgins Pharmacy Deidre Butler

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