The lady on the left in the photo suffers from melasma, aka a pregnancy mask. On the right you see the amazing result after a good treatment by a skin therapist, followed by care with the right products. Skin expert Silvia Scheurwater tells you all about it today in her latest article for Anti Aging.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) – Promising New Treatment for Melasma
Silvia Scheurwater of the Van Rosmalen clinic: As a skin therapist I regularly get people in my chair with melasma.
Melasma, better known as pregnancy mask, are irregularly shaped discolorations of the skin that are caused by sunlight, heat or changes in hormones. Pigment that is produced evenly gives the skin an even brown color. If this process is disrupted by hormones, wounds or acne, pigmentation spots appear. Women with tan skin or of childbearing age have a higher chance of developing melasma. Superficial melasma is fairly treatable. But if the pigmentation spots are located deeper in the skin, treatment is difficult and peels are required.
Doctors often prescribe cream containing the ingredient Hydroquinone for the treatment of melasma. This ‘depigments’ the skin: Less pigment is produced by the skin and the pigment spots present become lighter. Hydroquinone is only available on prescription in the Netherlands and should not be used for a long time due to skin irritation (max 3 months, preferably during the winter).
Recent scientific research shows that Niacinamide (vitamin B3) works as well as hydroquinone when used in a concentration of 4-5%. Niacinamide is available without a doctor’s prescription. But before you start looking in the store, the ingredient should be at the beginning of the ingredient list. If this is not the case, you are 99% sure that the concentration is unfortunately far too low to do anything for your skin.
Niacinamide has multiple purposes, namely:
* Melasma; It reduces superficial pigmentation spots.
* Acne and rosacea; It has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Niacinamide also has the advantage that it can be used for a long time, because the chance of skin irritation is nil. Niacinamide also protects the skin against UV radiation (mice treated with Niacinamide had a 70% lower risk of developing skin cancer).
Skincare with Niacinamide mainly works on the superficial pigments. Peels offer a solution to tackle the deeper pigments. We often see an improvement of 30-80%. A strict regime of daily antioxidants and UV protection are required.
Please note: we strongly advise against laser/IPL, as this is also a form of light. Melasma reacts very sensitively to this and can therefore be exacerbated by these treatments.
In the clinic I like to work with Meta Cell Renewal B3 from Skinceuticals in addition to the peels.
The Meta Cell Renewal B3 is a moisturizing cream that counteracts the first signs of skin aging and contains a high concentration (5%) Niacinamide. Other ingredients are: tripeptide that ensures collagen production and glycerine that promotes the elasticity of the skin. With daily use, the first results are visible after 12 weeks: fine lines are reduced and the skin looks firmer and more even. Meta Cell Renewal B3 is very suitable for tinted skin. The cream can be used as a day and night cream and is available in the Van Rosmalen clinic.
The lady in the photo (who would like to remain anonymous) suffered from a pregnancy mask, including on her forehead (see photo on the left). I started working with her with peelings and good care products (such as from Skinceuticals Phloretin and Metacell Renewal and from Dermaceutic Foamer15, Sun50 and Melacream) and this has greatly reduced the spots (photo right). So much is possible!
Are you curious about what I can do for you as a skin therapist? Please feel free to contact us for a no-obligation intake interview.
Skin therapist Van Rosmalen clinic
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