The Difference Between Hyperpigmentation and Melasma, And How To Treat Them
Hyperpigmentation can refer to any darkening of the skin, whereas Melasma is known to be caused mainly by hormonal factors, which is what makes it trickier to treat.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation can refer to any darkening of the skin, from various factors, including sun damage, acne scarring, and inflammation from skin sensitivity and flare-ups. Now moving on to what is Melasma, a more specific form of hyperpigmentation, and one that is more worrying.
How is Melasma different?
The term “Hyperpigmentation” should not be confused with “Melasma”. Although Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation, it has some marked distinctions. Melasma presents more commonly in women and is usually most prevalent on the face on areas like the forehead, chin, and above the lip.
Melasma is believed to be triggered by UV exposure, as well as hormonal influences. And it is the hormonal factor that differentiates it from traditional hyperpigmentation and makes it harder to treat. Melasma is also sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy,” as it often appears during pregnancy due to hormonal changes.
Because a significant cause of Melasma is hormonal, which isn’t a factor that can be as easily removed as, say, sun exposure, Melasma can be a notoriously persistent problem.
Based on its appearance alone, you can usually tell if the hyperpigmentation you have is Melasma as it typically presents as symmetric blotchy darkened patches on the face, usually the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and upper lip. Melasma can be worsened by exposure to light and heat as well.
Most hyperpigmentation spots respond to over-the-counter products that contain brightening agents like vitamin C, kojic acid, niacinamide, hydroquinone, and azelaic acid.
Unfortunately, Melasma does not have the same rate of success with topical treatments. Instead, a combination of sunscreen, brightening ingredients, and laser treatments are recommended for treating Melasma effectively.
A laser that can help Melasma sufferers is the Clear + Brilliant laser, which uses low energy fractionated technology to improve melasma, sun damage, and skin texture. Multiple treatments will be needed on a monthly basis, and then every six months after that, to help maintain skin clarity and tone.
A topical product that can be used to compliment the treatment is Cyspera, a pigmentation-lightening skincare product used to treat skin discolouration and hyperpigmentation.
3 FAQs about Cyspera
1. What is Cyspera and is it safe?
Cyspera is a pigmentation-lightening skincare product used to treat skin discolouration and hyperpigmentation conditions like melasma and age spots. The active ingredient is an antioxidant called Cysteamine, which is naturally present in our bodies to protect cells from free radical damage. This makes it a biocompatible, well-tolerated and safe treatment option for hyperpigmentation. It has been shown to have no risk of causing cancer, skin thinning, skin peeling or worsening pigmentation — risks that have been associated with other pigmentation lightening ingredients like hydroquinone and corticosteroids.
2. How does Cyspera work?
Cyspera helps to inhibit enzymes like tyrosinase, which catalyses the production of pigmentation and melanin. It also increases levels of naturally occurring skin-lightening agents like glutathione in treated skin cells. As a potent oxidant compound, the key ingredient, Cysteamine also helps to regulate the pigmentation synthesis pathway in the skin. Together, these 3 actions help to prevent the formation of melanin clusters that present as dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
3. How effective is Cyspera? And what are the results you can expect?
Cyspera is meant to be applied to clean skin for 15 minutes each day on hyperpigmentation areas. Initial pigmentation lightening results of up to 47% pigment reduction can be seen after 6 weeks of daily use. At 12 weeks, significant pigmentation correction with 67% pigment reduction can be observed. 90% of uses reported moderate to significant improvement in their skin conditions.
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*The information provided in this blog post is not intended as medical advice or instruction on aesthetic treatments. Patients should always consult a medical professional prior to making any decisions or undertaking any actions related to health care.