Consult Online With India's Top Doctors
Common Specialities
Common Issues
Common Treatments

Causes Of Melasma

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Aanchal Sehrawat 87% (99 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Dermatology & Venerology & Leprosy (DDVL), DNB Dermatology
Dermatologist, Gurgaon  •  12 years experience
Play video


Hi! I m Dr. Anchal Sehrawat, consultant dermatologist at Dr. Anchal Skin and Hair Clinic.

I will be discussing about melasma. Melasma is quite a common skin condition which causes tan to dark brown discoloration of face, especially seen over upper cheeks, nose, upper lips, and forehead. In extreme cases, it can be seen over the forearm and neck. It is more common in women as compared to men between the age group of 20 to 50 years, especially with darker skin tone. Although the discoloration is totally harmless and does not cause any physical discomfort.

Managing the psychological stress associated with appearance can be a challenge. So the right management can significantly improve the quality of life of the patient and restore self-confidence. So what causes melasma? It is not totally clear what causes melasma but still, it is believed that there are multiple triggering factors like birth control pills, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, thyroid disease and the epileptic medications. Certain medications can make skin more prone to darker upon sun exposure.

Uncontrolled sun exposure can cause melasma in adequately predisposing individuals. And certain household remedies and over the counter products can further aggravate melasma and make the condition worst. So how to diagnose melasma? Melasma is usually easily diagnosed by the characteristics of its pigmentation and distribution over the face. Assessment by skin specialist will help to assess the depth of pigmentation with the help of wood lamp.

So how to treat melasma? There are certain medications your doctor will prescribe you for lightening the skin like hydroquinone, tretinoin, azelaic acid and kojic acid. The chemical peel can be advised in case the melasma is not responding to tropical management. How to maintain melasma result? In any treatment effects are gradual, don’t guarantee that melasma won’t come back and certain cases of melasma do not completely latten. So you have to stick to certain skin treatment practices to reduce the risk of melasma from returning.

Just applying sunscreen is fairly not enough, a thick layer of sunscreen should be applied so as to fulfill the purpose of sunscreen. So give yourself one minute of time for properly applying sunscreen, apply a liberal amount of sunscreen get outside after 15 to 20 minutes of proper application and may apply sunscreen after 2 hours and do not shy away from apply sunscreen if it is not suiting you. Consult a dermatologist to see which sunscreen best suits you and avoid going outside during sunny duration like mid-morning to late afternoon. And preferred to be in shady areas if it is unavoidable to avoid sun.

3714 people found this helpful