Melasma is a common skin condition that causes skin discoloration and the appearance of small brown patches on the skin. Though it is harmless, it can affect the confidence of the patient and cause psychological problems. Melasma treatment can help manage the problem easier and faster.
What Causes Melasma?
Many factors trigger melasma in a patient, two major ones include:
Exposure to radiation
Excessive exposure to radiation of any kind, be it UV rays, infrared light or even visible light, can affect the skin and serve as a trigger for melasma. Sun exposure makes melasma worse since you expose the skin to heat and UV rays.
As mentioned earlier, hormone changes can cause an increase in skin pigment production. Women often experience hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause and more making them more prone to melasma. Other than this, taking contraceptive pills or any other hormonal pills can also cause melasma.
Some other causes of melasma include genetics, hypothyroidism, antiseizure medications, tanning beds, use of phototoxic drugs, etc.
Women: Though both men and women can suffer from melasma, it is more common among women.
Pregnant Women: Melasma is often known as the “mask of pregnancy” since about 50% of pregnant women get melasma. The hormonal changes in pregnant women trigger the excessive production of skin pigment.
Women taking hormonal pills like birth control pills, etc.
People with darker skin.
People with skin that tans quickly.
People who are exposed to excessive sunlight.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Melasma?
Often, melasma manifests as dark brown or light brown patches on the skin. The patches may be red but most of the time there won’t be any inflammation.
Melasma can appear anywhere in the body but it is often noted in areas that get maximum sun exposure. It can appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, arms and legs.
Though melasma is not painful, it can upset the patient and make them self-conscious, especially if the face is affected. Further sun exposure only makes melasma worse.
There is no cure for melasma but with certain medications and procedures, it is possible to manage the condition.
Treatments can help make melasma considerably lighter. The results might vary depending on the patient. Here are some tips for the management of melasma.
Sunscreen: Use sunscreen with good SPF and never skip it. People can choose physical blocker sunscreens since they are more effective in blocking the sunlight.
Retinols: Usage of retinol can help with discoloration. Consult your dermatologist and then start slowly.
Skin Treatments: Aesthetic skin treatments like chemical peels and laser therapy can help achieve a better skin tone for melasma patients.
How to Prevent Melasma?
Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight
Never step out without applying sunscreen
Choose good quality sunscreen
Use face moisturizer with sunscreen
Even after wearing sunscreen, cover up to avoid direct sun exposure
Avoid taking hormonal medicines like birth control pills
Treatment for Melasma at Rani MD
Though melasma is common, it can get quite distressing since there is no quick fix. Let us help you effectively manage the condition with the help of the right treatments. Know more about the topic here.