I am Dr. Jyotsna Dev. I am a Dermatologist practicing at Nerul, Navi Mumbai. Today I want to talk to you about Melasma. Melasma is a common condition in which we often notice these butterfly like patches, dark brown patches are seen on the face. Although it is commonly seen in women. Almost 90% of patients with melasma are women and but it is also seen in men. Usually it comes after the age of around 25 to 30 and what starts initially are small dots, brown dots on the skin.
Gradually these dots increase in size to spread and involve the cheeks, the forehead, can even involves the area around the lips. Although the exact reason for melasma is unknown but what is known is that there are hormonal factors involved. There may be a role of thyroid hormone, oral contraceptive pills, pregnancy. In all these factors, apart from them, what is also important is sun exposure. All almost all patients of melasma notice a worsening of their condition in going out in the sun. And as the sun exposure increases, the melasma gets worse. So what should one do if one has melasma?
The first thing one needs to do is to use a very good sunscreen. A sunscreen of SPF at least 30, a PA rating of at least 3 stars, one which is water resistant and photostable should do the job. While choosing a sunscreen one should choose one which is easy to apply and comfortable to use. Apply a sunscreen in the morning and keep it on the face for as long as possible. If you sweat or wash your face you need to re apply the Sunscreen.
Along with the sun screens and good sun protection there are good creams which works for melasma. Your Dermatologist can prescribe them for you. In patients who don't respond to just sunscreens and good skin lightening creams we have procedures like Chemical peeling, laser toning which also helps in reducing the pigment, plus certain tablets can also be given. So if you are suffering from melasma, please do not get stressed out. There is treatment available and with good care and good cure it is possible to arrive at a good resolution of one's problem.