Melasma is a common skin condition that causes dark and discolored patches on your skin. In general, it is also known as chloasma, or the “mask of pregnancy,”, when it occurs in pregnant women. If we notice, this skin condition is much more common in women than men, though men can get it too. Melasma causes gray-brown patches that usually appear on the face, most of the people get it on their cheeks, forehead, chin, bridge of their nose, and above their upper lip too.
What are the symptoms of Melasma?
1. Melasma causes gray-brown patches and these patches are darker than your typical skin color.
2. In general, brownish colored dark patches usually appear on cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose and chin.
3. It can also appear on other parts of the body that are overexposed to the sun, such as the forearms and neck.
4. Melasma doesn’t do any physical harm but patients may feel self-conscious about their appearance.
What are the causes and risk factors of Melasma?
There are no specific causes that trigger melasma but darker skinned individuals are at more risk as compared to fair-skinned individuals.
Progesterone and Estrogen sensitivity are associated with this skin condition. Hormone therapy, birth control pills, and pregnancy all can trigger melasma.
Diseases like thyroid and stress have also known as the most common causes of melasma.
Sun exposure can also cause melasma because the UV rays affect the cells that control pigment known as melanocytes.
Sun protection is one of the most common treatments for melasma. Applying sunscreen creams before exposure to the sun is the best way to prevent melasma. Melasma can be treated with the guidance of an experienced dermatologist and his/her prescribed medication. Prescribed lotions and creams can be helpful to lighten the skin and doctor might also prescribe topical steroids to lighten the affected areas. If these treatments don’t work; chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and dermabrasion are the possible options. Dr. Syed with his team of skilled and trained doctors determine the best possible treatment to give you the spots-free skin and beautiful appearance.
FAQs related to Melasma/Freckles
Does progesterone cause Melasma?
Progesterone is one of the hormones involved in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy, and it can stimulate pigmentation. In some cases, people who have an increase in progesterone due to pregnancy, or from taking hormonal contraceptives, can experience signs of Melasma.
Can Melasma be permanently cured?
Melasma can be permanently removed as long as there are no hormonal imbalances that will trigger a Melasma reoccurrence. Combined with adequate sun protection, such as protective clothing, sun screen with a high SPF, and limiting the time spent in direct sunlight, you can prevent the return or persistence of Melasma.
Can a vitamin D deficiency cause Melasma?
Several studies have shown that the production of Melasma is often the body’s response to protect the individual from harmful rays of the sun and vitamin D deficiency. The right melanin balance is vital to our health. If there is too much, the risk of a vitamin D deficiency increases; if there is too little, skin cancer and death increase in risk.