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Melasma - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Pradeep Aggarwal 92% (315 ratings)
MBBS, PGDUS, Fellowship In Aesthetic Medicine, Advance Course In Diabetes - USA, MD - Medicine
Aesthetic Medicine Specialist, Tilak Nagar  •  10 years experience
Melasma - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Melasma is a skin condition that is characterized by the formation of discolored patches on the skin. This condition is primarily observed in women. It usually occurs on the nose, cheeks and the forehead. Other parts of the body that might be continuously exposed to the sun for extended periods of time are also vulnerable to this disorder.

Symptoms:

Melasma exhibits symptoms of discolored patches on the skin. The patches are symmetrical, mostly forming on the face. Brownish patches tend to develop on the chin, nose, cheeks and the forehead. The discoloration of the skin does not cause any bodily harm but may be a cause of embarrassment in public.

Causes:

The exact cause of Melasma is not known. People with a darker skin tone are especially susceptible to this disorder. Sensitivity to ‘progesterone’ and ‘estrogen’ are also possible causes. In a nutshell, certain factors such as pregnancy, intake of birth control pills and having undergone hormone therapy can increase the risks of this disorder. Excessive exposure to the harmful UVA and the UVB rays of the sun may also trigger this condition as these ultraviolet rays affect the skin cells that regulate pigmentation.

Treatments:

In some cases, treatment is not required as the symptoms tend to clear up on their own. This usually happens if Melasma is triggered by intake of birth control pills or pregnancy. Certain skin lightening creams may also be used to treat the discoloration. Derma procedures such as dermabrasion and chemical peel may also be used to treat this condition.

In addition to the treatment options, there are also certain preventive measures that one can adopt:

  1. Wear a sunscreen, with SPF count of minimum 30 before stepping out in the sun.

  2. Take your medications regularly.

  3. Wear full sleeved clothes to prevent your skin from coming in direct contact with the sun. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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