Melasma is a term used to describe a skin condition, in which light brown to dark brown, or grayish pigmentation forms. This condition is also known as chloasma.
Melasma is often found on areas of skin exposed to the sun, especially on the face. This condition is common in women, especially those who have dark skin and live in areas with a lot of sunlight.
Causes of Melasma
The exact cause that triggers melasma is not known. However, it is possible that this condition is related to melanocytes (cells that give color to the skin) producing too much color.
In people with dark skin, melanocyte cells are more active than those with light skin. This causes those with dark skin to be more susceptible to melasma.
Melasma has a genetic predisposition. This does not mean that melasma will be passed down from parents to their children. However, those with a family history of melasma are more susceptible to developing melasma.
There are several factors that are known to trigger melasma , namely:
- Sun exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) light in sunlight is known to stimulate melanocytes. Sun exposure can make melasma worse, or make melasma that has gone away come back or come back.
- Hormonal changes. For example during pregnancy, use of hormonal contraception, hormone replacement therapy , and so on. This makes women more susceptible to melasma. Choasma is a term to describe melasma during pregnancy.
- Skin care products. Products that irritate the skin can make a person’s melasma worse.
Generally, melasma (Nám da) is easily recognized by observing the distribution of areas that have excess pigmentation on the body parts that are susceptible to being affected (usually the face). Can be used with the help of a tool called Wood’s light to see the depth of melasma from the surface of the skin. To help rule out other diagnoses, a skin biopsy may be performed.
Symptoms of Melasma
Melasma appears as areas that are darker in color than the surrounding skin (hyperpigmentation) or brown spots on the skin. This area has no complaints of itching or pain. However, it can affect a person’s appearance. There are three distribution patterns of melasma, namely:
- Centrofacial: affects the forehead, cheeks, nose, upper lip, and chin
- Constant: affects the cheeks and nose
- Mandibular: affects the lower jaw area
Although rare, it is possible that melasma can be found in the neck and forearms.
Melasma can be difficult to get rid of completely. Often, causative factors also need to be considered before deciding on treatment. For example, melasma caused by pregnancy generally gets better on its own within a few months after giving birth. In this case, treatment is not really necessary.
Some of the treatments that may be offered to you to help with melasma include:
- Hydroquinone : is the most recommended melasma treatment. This drug works by brightening the skin, and is used by applying it to the needed area.
- Tretinoin and corticosteroids: these two medications may be prescribed by your doctor to help lighten the skin. Commonly used in conjunction with
- Other topical medications, eg azelaic acid or kojic acid
- Procedure: generally considered when medication does not help with melasma. Several types of procedures that can be offered are chemical peels , microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, laser treatments, and so on.
Keep in mind that the treatment that is carried out is important to suit your needs and skin type. Immediately contact the doctor who treats you, if after treatment there are symptoms of skin irritation, changes in skin color to darken, and other changes.
One of the main things to remember in the treatment and prevention of melasma is to prevent sun exposure. Do not forget to use sunblock every day, and should be reapplied every two hours. The use of hats, especially wide hats are also good to prevent sun exposure.