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Sun Spots and Melasma Treatment in Calgary

Woman's forehead with melasma

Understanding Melasma

Melasma is a dermatological condition causing patches of grey or brown discoloration, typically manifesting on the forehead, cheeks, or chin. It predominantly affects women between age 25-50, and is usually caused by:

  • sun exposure
  • birth control
  • pregnancy
  • certain medications
  • heat

Treating Melasma

Melasma is often challenging to conceal and can be just as difficult to treat, sometimes leading to more pigmentation issues if not carefully done. Some of the most successful Calgary melasma treatment options include prescription medications, powerful medical-grade skincare solutions, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. However, effectiveness will vary from person to person, and it will depend on your individual body type and physiology.

Treatment Options

Skin Care Bootcamp: Pigment and Scarring Program

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Chemical Peels

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PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)

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Prescription Medication

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Melasma Treatment for Brown Skin

Treating melasma in individuals with brown skin can be particularly challenging due to the increased risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It's crucial to use gentle, targeted treatments tailored to your specific skin type and tone. Options that lighten skin or rejuvenate the dermal layers, like topical hydroquinone or glycolic acid, are best, and should always be administered under the guidance of a trained specialist with experience in treating such skin types.

Melasma Treatment for the Body

While melasma most commonly affects the face, it can also appear on other parts of the body, such as the shoulders, arms and hands, back, or chest. Treatment for melasma on the body typically involves topical creams containing ingredients like hydroquinone, tretinoin, or corticosteroids. In some cases, more potent procedures like chemical peels or PRP may be recommended for stubborn patches that resist lighter forms of treatment.

Melasma Treatment for Legs

Melasma on the legs is less common than the face or body, but it has been known to occur for a variety of reasons. Treatment approaches for melasma affecting the legs are similar to those elsewhere: proper sun protection to prevent further pigmentation, prescription creams or medications, chemical peels, PRP microneedling, and possibly even very specific non-ablative laser therapy in certain cases. These approaches should be discussed with a qualified clinician or dermatologist to ensure they’re the best choice for you.

Melasma Treatment Side Effects

Melasma treatments of any type can have side effects, which are generally quite mild and quick to pass. Common side effects may include:

  • skin irritation
  • redness/rash
  • swelling
  • hyperpigmentation (which may darken before fading away again)
  • itchiness
  • skin peeling

It’s a good idea to discuss your chosen approach with a dermatologist or doctor before starting any melasma treatment in Calgary, and to follow their recommendations for minimizing and managing these side effects.

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What is Melasma?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when excess melanin causes a darkened appearance to the skin in either small or large areas.

Pigmentation is the natural colour of a person’s skin and it is related to melanin production. Melanin protects skin cells and their DNA by absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UVR).

Darker skin types, in general, are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation than lighter skin types because their skin naturally contains more melanin.

Melasma Linked to endocrine system (hormones).

Post-Inflammatory Linked to trauma/ burns/ acne / poorly performed treatments.

Age Spots Linked to UVA exposure, pollution and DNA damage.

What are the hyperpigmentation types and triggers?

1. UV induced: This type of hyperpigmentation shows in the form of freckles, age spots and uneven skin tone. It is caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays (UVR), whether from the sun or tanning beds.

2. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): PIH is found in areas of the skin that have been subjected to inflammation due to trauma, acne or irritation (eg. fragrances). Inflammation stimulates Langerhans cells (immune cells), which alter the activity of melanocytes (skin cells), causing increased pigment production.

3. Melasma (chloasma): Melasma appears as symmetrical patches most often on the cheeks, chin, upper lip and forehead. It can be related to pregnancy, birth control pill, menopause or hormone replacement therapy.

What is the Hyperpigmentation Process?

1. Hyperpigmentation triggers eg. Inflammation, UV rays, hormones.

2. Melanin production is stimulated within melanocytes. Tyrosinase is one of the key enzymes in this process.

3. Melanin is transferred from melanocytes to skin cells.

4. Skin cells are in a constant state of upward motion to the surface.

5. Skin develops dark spots or areas on the surface, or is uniformly darker (as in a tan).

Hyperpigmentation can become darker as the skin cells move closer to the surface. This point is important because with many treatments, hyperpigmentation can darken in appearance before fading.

Medical Grade Skin Care

Exfoliating Polish
Exfoliating Polish - Bardöt Beauty

Exfoliating Polish


Daily Power Defense
Daily Power Defense - Bardöt Beauty

Daily Power Defense


Complexion Renewal Pads
Complexion Renewal Pads - Bardöt Beauty

Complexion Renewal Pads


Retinol Skin Brightener 1%
Retinol Skin Brightener 1% - Bardöt Beauty

Retinol Skin Brightener 1%