I plan on taking birth control and I have freckles. I heard the pill causes melasma. Am I prone to it if I have freckles?
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Doctor Answers 1
Melasma and freckles- things in common....
Firstly, melasma is unrelated to freckles. They are both stand alone conditions, however share one thing in common- both worsen with UV exposure. Melasma can not be completely cured, however effective treatment are possible. This is because your skin is extremely sensitive to UV and even the smallest amount can stimulate your pigment cells to produce colour. The mainstay of treatment is strict UV protection- hats, sunglasses and SPF every 4 hours
I prefer to use a combination of creams and laser for melasma. Hydroquinone can be used (5-8%), along with vitamin A creams. I usually start my patients on laser (low dose Q switch or Picosure) a few weeks after they commence on creams. The Clear and Brilliant laser also works well for maintaining the after effects of treatment.
In some cases I combine glycolic AHA peels, and in other cases I use a tablet called Tranexamic acid to help.
More information on available treatments in the Web Reference below. All the best, Dr Davin Lim. Laser, surgical and aesthetic dermatologist. Brisbane, Australia