Melasma is a condition where patches of skin discolor, often on the face.
It’s often mistaken for acne, sun damage or even pregnancy.
Melasma makes it hard to cover up so many women don’t want to talk about it and suffer in silence.
But if you’ve got melasma, there are treatments out there that can help clear up your skin without harsh chemicals or expensive procedures.
Does Lactic Acid Make Melasma Worse?
Lactic acid is a byproduct of energy production in your body. Lactic acid can build up in your skin, causing it to look darker.
This is why lactic acid makes melasma worse: it causes the redness in melasma to become more prominent.
If you have lactic acid buildup on top of your skin’s natural pigmentation and melanin, the resulting color is much darker than normal—and this can make it difficult to treat!
How does lactic acid cause melasma?
Melasma is caused by excess melanin, a pigment that’s produced by the skin when it’s exposed to UV light.
Because lactic acid is a type of sugar, it can stimulate the production of melanin and make melasma worse.
How can I tell if my melasma is getting worse?
If you notice any new or worsening patches of melasma, you should consult with your doctor.
They may want to do a skin biopsy to check for malignancy (cancer).
They may also want to remove the lesion for testing.
Before removing the lesion, they will need to decide on an appropriate treatment plan in order to reduce its risk as much as possible.
It’s important that you take note of changes in the size, color, and texture of existing patches of melasma.
If any existing patches are changing size or shape, this may be an indication that your condition is getting worse.
If this happens, it could be due to lactic acid buildup under your skin caused by pregnancy or exercise-induced stress on your body’s pH levels.
How do I prevent lactic acid from making my melasma worse?
To prevent lactic acid from making your melasma worse, follow these tips:
a. Avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen.
- If you want to be outside, wear a hat and protective clothing.
- When indoors, use window blinds or other methods to block sunlight from coming through windows.
- See our article on how to protect against ultraviolet rays for more information about avoiding sun damage.
b. Exfoliate skin with a gentle scrub once or twice a week
- This helps remove dead skin cells that can build up on the surface of your face and lead to clogged pores (which can cause melasma).
- Make sure you choose one that’s gentle enough for daily use if necessary—you’ll be removing more than just dirt!
When should I see a doctor about my melasma?
If you are concerned about your melasma, see a dermatologist.
Dermatologists are trained to treat various skin disorders and can help you understand what causes melasma and what treatments work best for you.
What treatments are there for melasma?
- Topical creams, gels, and lotions
To treat your melasma topically, your doctor may recommend creams or lotions to reduce irritation.
These medications can be found over the counter at your local pharmacy.
Some of these include hydroquinone (HQ), retinoids, retinoid with HQ, azelaic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).
Hydroquinone has been the most effective ingredient for treating melasma but it is banned in Europe due to its harmful side effects including skin depigmentation and exogenous ochronosis.
Which treatment works best for me?
The best way to treat melasma is by identifying the cause and making changes in your lifestyle, diet, and/or facial care routine.
However, there are also many topical treatments available for this condition that can help treat symptoms.
The best course of treatment depends on the severity of your melasma and how much time you want to devote to treating it.
If you have mild melasma that isn’t bothersome enough to seek medical attention yet but would like help with prevention of further development, then self-care may be all you need: try sun protection (wear sunscreen!), avoid excessive heat exposure such as saunas or hot tubs for more than 10 minutes at a time when outdoors in summer months (you can use an umbrella!), reduce alcohol consumption if possible—and watch those cute little umbrellas too!
Should I use makeup and sunscreen when treating my melasma?
When you’re treating melasma, it’s important to use sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30.
You should also choose one that offers broad-spectrum coverage against both UVA and UVB rays.
Apply your sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside so that the ingredients have time to absorb into the skin.
Reapply every 2 hours if you are outside for more than 2 hours, or if you swim or sweat excessively.
How long will it take me to see results after starting treatment for my melasma?
How long it takes to see results after starting treatment for your melasma depends on the severity of your condition.
The more patches you have and how brown they are, the longer it will take to clear them up.
More importantly, the number of applications that you make per day will affect how quickly you see these results.
To give an example: If a person was treating their melasma with a 2% hydroquinone cream (the strongest over-the-counter medication) once or twice per day, they would need to apply this product anywhere from six weeks to four months before they saw any significant lightening in their skin tone.
If you have melasma, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many treatment options available.
The most effective treatments will include a combination of different types of treatments, including both topical and oral medications that target the overproduction of melanin.
To help prevent your condition from worsening, you may want to talk with your doctor about using sunscreen daily and gently exfoliating the affected areas on your face.