A common skin condition, which causes the discoloration of your skin in patches across the face, melasma is more of a social embarrassment and cause for distress rather than being a serious condition. Although it affects men as well, studies have shown that over 90 percent of patients are women. It is also known as the mask of pregnancy as many pregnant women develop this skin condition.
Causes of Melasma
Primary causes of melasma have been attributed to various hormonal changes within the body. Let's look at some of the factors that may cause this disorder:
It has also been noticed that people with generally a darker skin tone tend to get melasma and it is less common in people with fairer skin.
Certain characteristics of Melasma
Melasma develops in certain patterns which can be easily diagnosed either as spots on the skin similar to freckles or brown patches of skin that grow bigger. Some of these patterns are:
Treatment of Melasma
Most women who develop melasma during pregnancy report that it goes away after childbirth. However certain forms of melasma may appear in non-pregnant women due to hormonal changes. Treating the underlying hormonal changes usually, resolves the problem. However certain other methods may be required to resolve the issues such as skin creams, chemical peels, dermabrasion and microdermabrasion. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Melasma is one of the most common pigmentary disorders presenting to the dermatology clinics. The exact cause of melasma is unknown. Plenty of oral as well as topical medications are available for the management of melasma.
Causes of melasma:
Melasma manifests as symmetric hyper pigmented macules on the face. It is common in people with Fitzpatrick skin types 4 to 6. Some of the causative factors are:
Patients with melasma have increased levels of luteinizing hormones and low levels of serum estradiol.
Drugs like phenytoin may lead to development of melasma.
Pregnancy : Is a known factor in the development of melasma.
Sun Exposure : Also leads to the development of melasma.
Pigmentation and darkening of the skin is noted on the cheeks, nose as well as the forehead. Sometimes a generalised diffuse pigmentation is noted. There are 3 main patterns of distribution: Centro facial, malar and mandibular.
Hydroquinone and triple combinations are considered as gold standards in the management of melasma.
However they should be prescribed for a shorter period. Milder depigmenting agents like kojic acid, azelaic acid, glycolic acid can be given for a longer duration to avoid side effects of long term use of hydroquinone.
Chemical peels like glycolic acid peels or retinol peels also provide good results.
Recently tranexemic acid has been used in the management of melasma with good results. Both oral as well as topical formulations are used.
Melasma is a chronic condition with a high tendency to relapse. However with proper medications as well as sun protection, excellent results are obtained.
Melasma is a condition that causes the skin to bear a patchy appearance with dark and discoloured segments. It is also commonly known as chloasma when it is found in pregnant women. This is a condition that can be found in women more commonly than it is found in men. Let us cast a glance on the symptoms, causes, as well as the ways of identifying and treating this condition.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!