Zap and Glow
Just when you’re supposed to be basking in the spotlight with your baby bump, melasma (aka the mask of pregnancy) can take over, transforming your face from a rosy glow to brown and patchy. “Pigmentation disorders can be one of the most difficult conditions we treat,” says Dr. Rob Miller, a Halifax dermatologist. Unlike freckles and age spots, which only affect the top layer of skin, melasma may affect both the top and middle layers, making it harder to destroy. Enter Fraxel, a laser also used to smooth wrinkles and acne scarring, which can now be used to reach the cells that store these discolouring pigments. It creates microscopic pixels, or holes, in the skin to reach and loosen up the pigmentation so it comes to the surface and disappears. The remaining cells in the dermis are stimulated and left to generate more collagen, essentially producing new, smoother skin with better texture. The results are gradual, but expect redness, similar to that of a moderate sunburn, and swelling for 4–5 days. Since only 15–20 percent of the skin is treated at one time, four treatments are recommended.