Melasma: The Mask Of Pregnancy And Beyond

Melasma happens when the melanocytes (brown pigmented skin cells) become overactive and produce too much color. The result is a splotchy brownish grayish mottled appearance of the skin. Although women most commonly suffer from melisma, about 10% of patients are male. Darker skin types have more active melanocytes and are therefore the more susceptible to having melasma.

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Ctto: Mayo Clinic

Melasma is seen as brown or graying brown patches on the cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lip, or chin. Some people also get melasma patches on their necks and arms. Although there is no physical pain or discomfort associated with melasma, the appearance of the splotches can play an emotional toll and affect the confidence of the sufferer. Many women suffering from melasma will tend to over-apply thick makeup to cover the splotches, which can lead to additional skin problems.


Some common melasma triggers are sun exposure, hormonal changes, and irritation from skincare products.

Sun exposure is the main triggering factor for melanocytes. Our bodies developed melanocytes to protect our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. The more sun exposure you have, the more active your melanocytes become and it releases more and more dark pigment called melanin. But not all melanocytes are created equal. We can see the evidence of varying expression of melanocytes in the large array of skin types out there from dark to light, as well as the intermittent activities of freckles and sunspots. Melasma happens when there is a combination of sun exposure and the addition of one more factor… hormones.


Hormones are like your bodies chemical text messages. They are signals for your body to do certain things or react in certain ways. In the case of melasma, the hormones are telling the melanocytes that your body needs extra protection. Those melanocytes that both receive those messages and get exposed to sunlight will get hyperactive. This often causes that very blotchy patchy appearance to certain areas of your body.

There are many reasons for your body to send those extra hormonal signals to your melanocytes, but there is no bigger reason than pregnancy. Melasma and pregnancy so commonly happen at the same time that Melasma has been known as the pregnancy mask. Birth control pills will also cause a hormonal trigger that can cause melasma.

In addition, some products are irritants to your skin and create an inflammatory reaction. This can also cause the melanocytes to become hyperactive and overproduce melanin in the presence of the sun.


Melasma can sometimes fade with time all on its own with very little effort. This spontaneous fading will happen over months and sometimes years. Some people, however, will have melasma for a lifetime, or for many years longer than they are willing to bear.

There are several topical chemicals that are prescribed to reduce the clearance of melasma.

Hydroquinone is often the first line of defense and is the most commonly prescribed treatment.

Tretinoin is also prescribed, sometimes alone, but also sometimes in addition to hydroquinone.

Phytoquinone or Kojic Acid are given to help round out the treatment and produce faster, more even results.

For stronger products that require a prescription, you will have to see your dermatologist or aesthetic medicine doctor. When topical chemicals are not enough to get complete clearance your dermatologist or aesthetic medicine provider may also prescribe treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning. In addition, a photo facial treatment or laser treatment may be recommended after proper skin conditioning or pre-treatment. A skincare consultation or a care concierge appointment will help you to figure out which treatments are right for you and your skin. Check out our services

Is It Time For Memory Care?

Often, family members caring for an elder with Alzheimer’s worry whether they are truly meeting their loved one’s needs. The disease is complex and causes changes that can be hard to cope with. And, it can be tough to communicate with a senior with Alzheimer’s disease who may have lost much of their traditional communication skills.

Some families may feel confident caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s at home longer than others. Either way, we recommend families take a proactive approach to plan for the older adult’s future care needs.

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Signs a Senior with Alzheimer’s Might Need Memory Care

A few signs an older adult with Alzheimer’s might not be safe living alone include:

  • A difficulty managing finances and paying bills
  • forgetting food is cooking in the oven or on the stovetop
  • experiencing paranoia or hallucinations
  • neglecting personal care and hygiene
  • difficulty carrying on a conversation
  • unintentional weight loss
  • getting lost in familiar surroundings

While some adult children decide to move a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease into their own home, that arrangement is usually temporary. As the disease progresses, many still seek the support of a memory care program. Researching memory care options in advance is usually the best course of action.

7 Tips for Evaluating Memory Care Programs

Memory care can differ greatly from one community to another. Some programs are part of a large continuing care retirement community, and others are a dedicated area of an assisted living or nurse care center. Whatever type of memory care you are exploring, it’s important to evaluate a few vital components.

1.  Security of environment: Families often explore memory care programs when they fear their loved one isn’t safe at home. Many are concerned about a loved one’s pattern of unsafely leaving their home in search of something, such as food or a loved one. A secure memory care environment is vital.

2. Commitment to positive language: You can tell a lot about a memory care community by the language you hear staff use. Language sets a tone and can help you determine if the community prioritizes a homelike setting. Find a community where team members use phrases like “secure neighborhood” instead of “locked unit” and “move into” versus “placed in” a suite or apartment.

3. Dedicated staff members: Caring for adults with Alzheimer’s disease requires special training and experience. Ask every community you visit if the caregivers work exclusively with memory care residents and what additional training they receive. Also, make sure to ask how many caregivers are available during the day and after hours. Quality staff directly impacts the quality of care, so make sure you get answers to these questions.

4. Life enrichment activities: The structure that comes with a daily routine is important for adults with Alzheimer’s and related forms of memory loss. Life enrichment opportunities are a key component of that routine. Ask for a copy of the community’s activities calendar. Make sure it shows a mix of activities and events designed to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of residents.

5. State survey results: Memory care programs that are part of an assisted living community undergo routine inspections by state surveyors. They evaluate the community for everything from the safety of the environment to the nutritional quality of the food. Reviewing these results is an important step for evaluating the memory care community. If your state doesn’t publish survey results online, ask the community staff for a copy.

Our final tip is the most important one: visit any memory care you are considering in person. It’s best to do so more than once. Visit us

Signs You Might Need A Registered Nurse

Get A Registered Nurse To Meet Certain Needs

Even if you are in charge of caring for an aging loved one, you might not be a part of the healthcare industry. That means you don’t know as much about caregiving as you might want to, seeing as you have an important job ahead of you. You understand that there are people out there that can help you meet your loved one’s needs, but there are different professionals who cover different things. Caregivers, for instance, can do a lot of things to take the loads and burdens from your plate. However, there are certain times when a registered nurse will really be the person you need. You might need a registered nurse if…

Your Loved One Just Had Surgery

When your aging loved one has major surgery, they will recover in the hospital first. But once they are sent home, their care is just as important and you want to make sure they get quality home health care. Having a registered nurse check up on their well-being to help with their recovery is often a good idea.

Your Loved One Has A Wound

Whether your loved one fell and has a gash or has a surgical wound, a registered nurse can take care of it properly to make sure it is healing correctly. That means changing dressings, applying salve, and just checking for proper healing to get ahead of any infections that might form.

Your Loved One Needs Intravenous Medications

You might think if your loved one has to have intravenous medications that they will have to go to the hospital, but that is not always the case. A registered nurse can help administer the medications at home and care for the IV site as well. They can also help you learn how to do it on your own to participate as much as you want in the process.

Your Loved One Has A Catheter

It’s an embarrassing situation for an aging loved one, but if they struggle with incontinence, they may need a catheter. A registered nurse can help them manage the care they will need around the catheter. That means caring for it or teaching your loved one what to do in order to care for it themselves.

Your Loved One Is Nearing The End Of Their Life

It’s never going to be easy, but you want to make sure your loved one is as comfortable as possible. A registered nurse is a medical professional who can be with you the whole time to take the burden of health care off your shoulders. You can then simply spend time with your loved one without worrying about the medical elements in play.

Ask Questions About A Registered Nurse

If you aren’t sure whether your situation deems a registered nurse necessary, contact Agility Health for information. We’re here to make sure your loved one gets everything they need, whether that’s light cleaning and transportation or a registered nurse for medication care, surgery recovery, or anything else.

It’s important to choose a Senior Healthcare Facility and Assisted Living Residence with registered nurses to ensure the safety of your senior.