Melasma

Melasma is a common skin problem. It causes brown to gray-brown patches, usually on the face. Most people get it on their cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin, and above their upper lip. It also can appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck.

Your forehead is a common place to get Melasma.

Who gets Melasma?

Melasma appears on women’s skin much more often than men’s skin. Just 10% of people who get melasma are men.

People with darker skin, such as those of Latin/Hispanic, North African, African-American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean descent are more likely to get melasma. People who have a blood relative who had Melasma also are much more likely to get melasma.

Causes of Melasma

What causes Melasma is not yet clear. It likely occurs when the color-making cells in the skin (melanocytes) produce too much color. People with skin of color are more prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes than people with light skin.

Melasma is a multifactorial disease. That is it can have many Triggers . 

Common Melasma Triggers (what starts it) include:

  • Sun exposure : Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes. In fact, just a small amount of sun exposure can make Melasma return after fading. Sun exposure is why Melasma often is worse in summer. It also is the main reason why many people with Melasma get it again and again.
  • A change in hormones : Pregnant women often get Melasma. When Melasma appears in pregnant women, it is called chloasma, or the mask of pregnancy. Birth control pills and hormone replacement medicine also can Trigger Melasma.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies. 
  • Skin care products : If a product irritates your skin, Melasma can worsen.

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Treatment of Melasma

Melasma can fade on its own. This usually happens when a trigger, such as a pregnancy or birth control pills, causes Melasma. When a woman delivers her baby or stops taking the birth control pills, Melasma can fade.

However, some people have Melasma for years, or even a lifetime. If the Melasma does not go away or a woman wants to keep taking birth control pills, Melasma Treatments are available.

Treatment of Melasma can be divided into 2 main groups :

  • Procedure/ Treatments for Melasma.
  • Medicines.

Procedure/ Treatments for Melasma

Chemical Peels

One of the most common and safest methods to treat Melasma is the use of Chemical Peels :

  • Peels like TCA , Glycolic , and Lactic Acid, Tranexamic acid are used.
  • Minimum or no downtime.
  • Multiple sessions are required for it to show results .
  • Completely safe and painless. 
Chemical Peels
Laser Toning

Laser Toning

 The newer approaches to melasma treatment is the use of low energy  Q Switch Nd- Yag Laser :

  •  This is also called Laser Toning .
  • Uses low fluence of energy to block the pigment cells.
  • Safe and Painless.
  • Multiple sittings are required to show results .

 

Injectables

These Include medicines that are used to be directly Injected in the area of Melasma :

  • Uses medicines like growth factors, Tranexamic acid etc.
  • Injected locally in the area of Melasma.
  •  Can be combined with other modalities of treatments for better results.
Injectables

Medicines

Since melasma is a complex situation that is caused by multiple factors inside the body a multiple approach is needed for its management , hence the use of medicines :

  • Certain medicines are given to be applied locally that are  depigmenting agents like  hydroquinone, tretinoin , corticosteroids and newer salts like  azelaic acid, kojic acid etc.
  • Transxemic acid and antioxidants, Vit C etc  help to combat melasma , ,they are usually given as tablets as supplemental treatments.

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FAQ's

This totally depends on the reason why Mealsma started in the first place. Many melasmas associated with pregnancy tend to fade out after childbirth , but some melasmas don’t. It is always advisable to treat melasma at its first sight .

Though There is no cure to treat melasma permanently , it can be reduced by medicines and procedures like laser toning , chemical peels etc. these also help to prevent melasma from getting worse.

No, usually starts as uneven skin tone in an area ,and then progresses to become more prominent .

Pigmentation of any kind – uneven skin tone , freckles, melasma should be treated at its first skin , this is the only way to stop it from becoming worse

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