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Melasma Tips

Melasma - Everything You Should Know About It!

Melasma - Everything You Should Know About It!

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:

  1. Pregnancy: This is often attributed as the leading cause of melasma, the primary cause has often been attributed to hormonal changes that a woman may experience due to pregnancy.
  2. Treatments that may change hormonal balance: Women on contraceptive pills or who have implants such as intrauterine devices may also develop this disorder. This is due to the balance of estrogen and progesterone being changed within the body.
  3. Sun exposure: Continued sun exposure may also lead to melasma. This is due to the activation of melanocytes within the body which start producing more melanin.
  4. Stress: Long periods of stress on the body can also trigger hormonal changes and cause melasma.
  5. Thyroid problems: If someone suffers from Hypothyroidism or low levels of the thyroid hormone, it can trigger other hormonal changes and also cause this skin 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:

  1. Malar pattern: This grows on the nose and cheeks
  2. Mandibular pattern: Starts growing around the jaw line
  3. Brachial melasma: This grows on the upper arms and shoulders
  4. Lateral cheek pattern: Grows on the cheek on both sides of the face
  5. Centrofacial pattern: Nose, upper lips, forehead and cheeks

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 peelsdermabrasionand microdermabrasion.

Melasma - How To Take Care Of It?

Melasma - How To Take Care Of It?

Melasma is a skin condition resulting in discoloured and dark patches on the skin. It also goes by the name of chloasma. It is frequently observed in pregnant women. As per the report of the American Academy of Dermatology, it is found that 90 percent of the overall cases of Melasma are found among women.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptom of this skin condition is discolouration patches that are darker than the skin colour. Mostly visible in the face, Melasma occurs in a symmetrical fashion with equal effect on either side of the face. This being said, other body areas which often get exposed to sun also runs the risk of developing Melasma. While brownish patches are visible in body parts such as chin, cheeks, forehead and nose bridge, their presence can also be felt in the forearm and the neck. Skin colouration in no way is a threat to the body, it, however, can make a person self-conscious about himself.

Common causes of Melasma

The exact cause of Melasma is not known. It is estimated that people with dark skin are more prone to developing Melasma than their white-skinned counterpart. At times the progesterone and the oestrogen sensitivity of a person is also linked with this skin condition. This essentially means that hormone therapy, birth control drugs and pregnancy are all associated with Melasma. Doctors have also identified thyroid and stress to be a potential cause of Melasma. Above all the ultraviolet rays of the sun are by far the bigger threat of Melasma than any other factors.

How the condition is diagnosed?

Melasma is usually diagnosed with one visual exam. However, a doctor might perform different tests to rule out other skin condition. One popular test that is often conducted by the doctor is known as Wood’s lamp examination. This is a special light which can penetrate through the skin and help a doctor identify the number of layers Melasma has infected of the skin. Furthermore, in case of any doubt, the doctor might take a sample of the affected area and send the same to the lab to rule out the possibility of cancer and other critical skin diseases.

How is Melasma treated?

If Melasma is caused due to pregnancy, it often disappears suddenly much like the way it came. No specific treatment is required. If, however, the condition refuses to heal, a doctor might prescribe topical steroids and creams to lighten the skin. If it fails, other possible avenues, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and dermabrasion are explored. Treatments such as these are capable of stripping the top layer of the skin and lighten the patches. However, no treatment can guarantee a non-recurrence of Melasma.

3140 people found this helpful

Melasma - How To Avert It?

Melasma - How To Avert It?

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.
2698 people found this helpful

Melasma vs Hyperpigmentation - What Is The Difference?

Melasma vs Hyperpigmentation - What Is The Difference?

Dark patches on the skin are a common cause for concern. These patches may not be very harmful but they can affect a person’s self-confidence and emotional health. Patchiness is usually the result of excessive sun exposure. Hyperpigmentation is usually used as an umbrella term for all such skin conditions. However, not all dark patches are the same.

What is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation refers to the presence of dark patches of damaged skin triggered by external stressors. Of these, sun exposure is the most common trigger. This triggers the overproduction of melanin in the lower layers of the skin that travels upwards and results in dark patches or spots. The deeper the melanin, the harder it is to treat hyperpigmentation. These patches can be seen in all skin types and tones. They can be big or small and be present in varying densities. Hyperpigmentation can also be caused by cuts in the skin or scars left behind by acne. Using a good sunscreen can help prevent hyperpigmentation. Chemical peels and laser therapy could also help.

What is Melasma?
Melasma is also characterized by dark patches on the skin. However, these are not caused by external factors but are the result of a hormonal imbalance. Women between the age of 20 to 50 years are most susceptible to melasma as an increase in estrogen levels causes this condition. Darker skin tones are more susceptible to this condition than lighter skin tones. It is often seen during pregnancy and may also be a side effect of certain types of birth control pills. Certain types of contraception could also trigger this condition. This condition can be aggravated by sun exposure. For this reason, in some cases, it is aggravated in the summers and reduces in the winter. Another difference between hyperpigmentation and melisma is that the dark patches seen in the latter condition tend to be symmetrical and concentrated around the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, arms and shoulders.

Unlike hyperpigmentation, melasma can be difficult to treat. This is because genetics play a large role in hormone-related conditions. As with hyperpigmentation, the use of a sunscreen is crucial to controlling this condition. This should be applied every two hours even if one is indoors. Some types of skin peels have been known to be beneficial for this condition. Phytic acid peels not only help lighten dark patches but also deactivate enzymes responsible for them.

Superficial melasma is light brown in colour. As the depth is increased it becomes dark brown to Coca-Cola and grayish in colour and becomes difficult to treat. Medicine are having good results in superficial melasma. For deeper once Iontophoresis and lasers gives better results. Deep melasma is difficult to treat.

2517 people found this helpful

5 Causes Of Melasma And Its Treatment!

5 Causes Of Melasma And Its Treatment!

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:

  1. Pregnancy: This is often attributed as the leading cause of melasma, the primary cause has often been attributed to hormonal changes that a woman may experience due to pregnancy.
  2. Treatments that may change hormonal balance: Women on contraceptive pills or who have implants such as intrauterine devices may also develop this disorder. This is due to the balance of estrogen and progesterone being changed within the body.
  3. Sun exposure: Continued sun exposure may also lead to melasma. This is due to the activation of melanocytes within the body which start producing more melanin.
  4. Stress: Long periods of stress on the body can also trigger hormonal changes and cause melasma.
  5. Thyroid problems: If someone suffers from Hypothyroidism or low levels of the thyroid hormone, it can trigger other hormonal changes and also cause this skin 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:

  1. Malar pattern: This grows on the nose and cheeks
  2. Mandibular pattern: Starts growing around the jaw line
  3. Brachial melasma: This grows on the upper arms and shoulders
  4. Lateral cheek pattern: Grows on the cheek on both sides of the face
  5. Centrofacial pattern: Nose, upper lips, forehead and cheeks

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.

4554 people found this helpful

Identifying And Treating Melasma - Getting Rid Of Age Spots!

Identifying And Treating Melasma - Getting Rid Of Age Spots!

Flat, grey, brown or black spots which usually occur on the sun exposed areas of the human skin are called Age spots. They are also termed as senile lentigo, liver spots, solar lentigines or sun spots.

Serious conditions of age spots include:

  1. Moles
  2. A malignant skin cancer condition called melanoma.
  3. A type of skin cancer condition called lentigo maligna.
  4. A non-cancerous skin growth called keratosis.

Noticeable characteristics of age spots that are identifiable include:

  1. Darkened pigmentation
  2. Irregularity in border
  3. Combination in colours
  4. Size increase over a short period
  5. Bleeding, itching, redness or tenderness

Diagnosis-

The procedure for diagnosing is usually performed by dermatologists. If the doctor has any serious concern about the skin, a skin biopsy might be needed which would require the doctor to analyse a small sample of the skin. A local anaesthetic would be applied and a small portion of the skin would be cut away. Examination of the sample would be performed in the lab in order to determine whether there is a possibility of a condition other than solar lentiginosis.

Treatment-

Treatment is not usually required as age spots are harmless. However, for cosmetic purposes, people choose to treat the age spots. Some of the treatments include:

  1. Prescription of bleaching creams, often coupled with retinoid creams and steroids are used to lighten age spots.
  2. Dermabrasion is performed using a rotating brush to remove its surface layers and scour the skin. Redness and scabbing might be felt.
  3. Cryotherapy is performed where liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the skin of the age spot which in turn destroys the dark colour produced by the melanin. There is a possibility of scarring during this procedure.
2546 people found this helpful

Melasma - Symptoms & Treatments Of It!

Melasma - Symptoms & Treatments Of It!

Melasma is a common skin problem where the skin becomes patchy brown, tan, or there is blue grey facial skin discoloration. It is also known as chloasma or mask of pregnancy. It occurs in women during the reproductive years and occurs rarely in men. It is primarily related to external sun exposure, external hormones like birth control pills and internal hormonal changes seen during pregnancy. Women with Melasma have a history of daily or intermittent sun exposure.

  • Symptoms of Melasma: Melasma causes patches of discoloration, which are darker than typical skin colour. It occurs symmetrically with matching marks on both sides of face. It normally appears on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead and chin. It can also occur on the other areas of one's body which are often exposed to sun. Skin discoloration is not physically harmful, but it can affect the self-confidence of a person. Darker skinned individuals are more at risk as compared to fair skinned individuals. Melasma is associated with oestrogen and progesterone sensitivity, thus it can be triggered by birth control pills, pregnancy and hormone therapy. In few cases, stress and thyroid disease can also cause Melasma. Women taking hormone replacement therapy during menopause are also at high risk of getting Melasma
  • Diagnosis of Melasma: A visual exam of the affected area is sufficient to diagnose Melasma. The doctor will perform the wood's lamp examination that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to look at the skin closely. However, the doctor may perform a biopsy to check for any serious skin conditions.
  • Treatment of Melasma: When Melasma is caused by pregnancy or birth control pills, it disappears on its own. One can use creams containing hydroquinone or prescribed topical steroids, which can lighten the tone of the affected areas. Other options include chemical peelsdermabrasion and microdermabrasion which will remove the upper layers of skin and help lighten dark patches. In cases of severe Melasma, doctor may suggest lasertreatments to remove the dark pigment.

It is quite possible that Melasma will clear up with treatment, there are things one must do to not to aggravate the condition and minimize appearance of the discoloration. These include usage of makeup to cover areas of discoloration, wearing sunscreen daily or wearing a hat with wide brim to provide shade to the face. The patients with Melasma are known to be at a lesser risk for Melanoma. Even if Melasma disappears, it can strike back especially if preventive measures regarding exposure to sun are not followed. Resolution with strict sun avoidance and topical bleaching creams can take sufficient time and patients should expect slow, but gradual lightening.

2585 people found this helpful

Excessive Exposure to Sun Causes Melasma

Excessive Exposure to Sun Causes Melasma

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:
1. Pregnancy: This is often attributed as the leading cause of melasma, the primary cause has often been attributed to hormonal changes that a woman may experience due to pregnancy.

2. Treatments that may change hormonal balance: Women on contraceptive pills or who have implants such as intrauterine devices may also develop this disorder. This is due to the balance of estrogen and progesterone being changed within the body.

3. Sun exposure: Continued sun exposure may also lead to melasma. This is due to the activation of melanocytes within the body which start producing more melanin.

4. Stress: Long periods of stress on the body can also trigger hormonal changes and cause melasma.

5. Thyroid problems: If someone suffers from Hypothyroidism or low levels of the thyroid hormone, it can trigger other hormonal changes and also cause this skin 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:
a. Malar pattern: This grows on the nose and cheeks
b. Mandibular pattern: Starts growing around the jaw line
c. Brachial melasma: This grows on the upper arms and shoulders
d. Lateral cheek pattern: Grows on the cheek on both sides of the face
e. Centrofacial pattern: Nose, upper lips, forehead and cheeks

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 peelsdermabrasion and microdermabrasion.

4135 people found this helpful

Melasma - All About It!

Melasma - All About It!

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:

  1. Pregnancy: This is often attributed as the leading cause of melasma, the primary cause has often been attributed to hormonal changes that a woman may experience due to pregnancy.
  2. Treatments that may change hormonal balance: Women on contraceptive pills or who have implants such as intrauterine devices may also develop this disorder. This is due to the balance of estrogen and progesterone being changed within the body.
  3. Sun exposure: Continued sun exposure may also lead to melasma. This is due to the activation of melanocytes within the body which starts producing more melanin.
  4. Stress: Long periods of stress on the body can also trigger hormonal changes and cause melasma.
  5. Thyroid problems: If someone suffers from Hypothyroidism or low levels of the thyroid hormone, it can trigger other hormonal changes and also cause this skin 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:

  1. Malar pattern: This grows on the nose and cheeks
  2. Mandibular pattern: Starts growing around the jawline
  3. Brachial melasma: This grows on the upper arms and shoulders
  4. Lateral cheek pattern: Grows on the cheek on both sides of the face
  5. Centrofacial pattern: Nose, upper lips, forehead, and cheeks

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 peelsdermabrasion, and microdermabrasion.

1 person found this helpful

Melasma - All You Should Know About It!

Melasma - All You Should Know About It!

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:

  1. Pregnancy: This is often attributed as the leading cause of melasma, the primary cause has often been attributed to hormonal changes that a woman may experience due to pregnancy.
  2. Treatments that may change hormonal balance: Women on contraceptive pills or who have implants such as intrauterine devices may also develop this disorder. This is due to the balance of estrogen and progesterone being changed within the body.
  3. Sun exposure: Continued sun exposure may also lead to melasma. This is due to the activation of melanocytes within the body which start producing more melanin.
  4. Stress: Long periods of stress on the body can also trigger hormonal changes and cause melasma.
  5. Thyroid problems: If someone suffers from Hypothyroidism or low levels of the thyroid hormone, it can trigger other hormonal changes and also cause this skin 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:

  1. Malar pattern: This grows on the nose and cheeks
  2. Mandibular pattern: Starts growing around the jaw line
  3. Brachial melasma: This grows on the upper arms and shoulders
  4. Lateral cheek pattern: Grows on the cheek on both sides of the face
  5. Centrofacial pattern: Nose, upper lips, forehead and cheeks

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, dermabrasionand microdermabrasion.

3300 people found this helpful
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