What is Melasma?
It is a skin condition that is normally associated with overexposure to sunrays and female hormones. Because it is associated with overexposure to the sun rays men can also be affected by this skin condition. It is also known as the mask of pregnancy or chloasma. The areas of the body that is most prone to melasma are your cheekbones, upper lip, and forehead but it can also affect your nose, your lower cheeks, your chin, and the sides of your neck. It is an acquired medical condition which means a disease or medical condition that is not inherited. When a pregnant woman develops melasma it is normally during her second or third trimester.
A person may have dermal melasma which is an increased pigment that is present deep in your lower layer of skin, epidermal melasma which is an increased pigment in the top layer of your skin, or a combination of both.
Symptoms of Melasma
Melasma causes irregular grayish-brown or brown patch on your neck and face but can also be seen on your nose, upper lip, cheeks, and forehead. They have a symmetrical pattern.
Causes of Melasma
A person can develop melasma from an increased amount of melanin, which is skin pigment. It can also be caused by a combination of genetic, sun-related and hormonal factors and is usually associated with female hormones. It is also seen in women who are taking birth control pills. Another cause could be menopause, ovarian disorders, and menopause. Taking the medications tetracycline or phenytoin could also trigger melasma.
If developing melasma is due to pregnancy it will gradually fade after having the baby. When you discontinue taking oral contraceptives it will also gradually fade but if you start taking oral contraceptive or become pregnant again it could recur. Other treatments can include:
- Using sunblocks and sunscreens to protect you from the UV rays of the sun of at least twenty or more sun protection factor
- Avoiding being exposed to the UV rays of tanning booths
- To help reduce skin pigmentation you can use bleaching creams, vitamin A derivatives, or depigmenting agents
- You can also use chemical peels, laser treatments, and microdermabrasion. To get rapid results use a chemical peel with glycolic acid or tri-chloro-acedic acid (TCA)
You can also different home remedies. One is to squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into a cup and apply the areas that are affected. Leave it on for fifteen to twenty minutes. Rinse off with warm or cool water. You could also add cucumber juice to the lemon juice. If you do add cucumber juice apply it at night before bedtime. Leave it on overnight and then rinse it off in the morning using cool or warm water. It is an effective natural treatment but you have to make sure that you do it at least four times a week. Lemon juice is naturally acidic and can help to lighten the dark spots associated with melasma. You can also take aloe Vera gel and rub it on the areas that are affected and leave it on overnight.
No matter which treatment you use to treat melasma it is a slow process and can take several months before you get the results that you desire. What treatment to be used depends on how deep the pigmentation is and the person.
Pictures of Melasma
Photos, Images and Pictures of Melasma…