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All about Melasma

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EXPERTS SPEAK

The key for the treatment/management of Melasma is correct timely diagnosis esp its type and most importantly the underlying cause for it. Hence don’t delay instead consult your Dermatologist:

  • If you see light colored spots.
  • If you have a face tan that does not go away.

MUST KNOW FACTS ABOUT MELASMA

  1. Melasma is characterized by three location patterns (central face, cheekbone, and jawline).This implies that Melasma typically appears on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin and upper lip and rarely on other sun-exposed parts of the body, such as the forearms.
  2. Melasma is among the top five leading dermatologic conditions in Asia. It is quite common in women and rarely affects males.
  3. Melasma is mostly observed in women during or post pregnancy and hence melasma is also known as the mask of pregnancy.
  4. Also it is important to consult a dermatologist to find out the underlying cause of melasma.

TYPES OF MELASMA

There are three different types of melasma namely:

  1. Epidermal melasma: Affects the epidermal layer of the skin and pigmentation is generally brown in color.
  2. Dermal melasma: Affects the dermal layer of skin and pigmentation is generally gyeyish-brown in colour.
  3. Mixed melasma: Affects both epidermal and dermal layers of skin and are the hardest to treat.

 

PLZ Note: At times age spots, sun spots and freckles can also be mistaken by people for melasma. But remember Melasma patches are usually symmetrical, with matching marks on both sides of the face.


DISTINCT SYMPTOMS

Discoloured irregular patches (darker than the skin colour) on the:

  • Cheeks
  • Forehead
  • Bridge of the nose
  • Chin

 Note: Melasma patches are usually symmetrical, with matching marks on both sides of the face.

CAUSE

HYPERPIGMENTATION1

Melasma is caused by the over-production of the pigment melanin. Whilst the condition usually occurs as a response to hormonal changes, such as pregnancy, birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

Other major contributing factors are:

  • Sun exposure
  • Genetic predisposition and
  • Aging.

Most of the times people misinterpret early signs/patches/spots of melasma for sun tan hence it is very important to consult a dermatologist immediately, if you observe any discolored marks on your skin.

DIAGNOSIS

Melasma is usually diagnosed by a dermatologist visually or with assistance of a Wood’s lamp/ Dermatoscope. Wood’s lamp assists in assessing how deeply melasma has penetrated the skin.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Depending on the severity of melasma it is mostly treated using one or all of the following –

  • If the patient is taking contraceptive pills, hormone therapy then some changes are made in the medication.
  • Prescribed tropical creams eg: tretinoin, corticos­teroids, azelaic acid, kojic acid etc.
  • Specific laser therapy
  • Chemical peels

It takes time for melasma treatment to take effect – weeks rather than days – so be patient, consistent and persistent.

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IF YOU want to resolve and get rid of your skin concern (Melasma); then instead of a Basic Skincare Regime; you would require a CUSTOMIZED SKINCARE REGIME (containing specific skincare products that can target to resolve your concerns) along with correct skincare guidance. 

CLICK TO GET A COMPLETE SKINCARE REGIME CUSTOMIZED (Specifically for your Skin Type, Skin Concerns & Needs); BY OUR DERMATOLOGISTS/SKIN EXPERTS


COMMON QUERIES- RESOLVED 

Q1) Is melasma contagious?

Ans: No, melasma is not contagious. Melasma is caused by melanogenesis which causes the excess color in the skin.

Q2) Does melasma have a genetic link?

Ans: There seems to be some genetic correlation in those who develop melasma. If you have close family and relatives who have had this condition, you may be more likely to develop melasma.

Q3)  Can melasma be fully cured?

Ans: It’s a chronic condition that develops slowly and can be difficult to treat.  The gradual disappearance of dark patches is based on creating the right treatment combination for each individual and consistent protection from further exposure to the sun. Always consult a dermatologist for designing your treatment plan never go for self medication or over the counter prescriptions by people.


NATURAL EFFECTIVE HOME REMEDIES

  1. Extract fresh lemon juice and apply it on the affected areas. Gently massage it around for one or two minutes. Leave it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy twice daily and you should see improvement within three weeks. The acidic nature of lemon juice also helps remove the outer layer of the skin, thereby eliminating a layer of the hyperpigmented skin.
  2. Take fresh onion juice and mix it with apple cider vinegar in equal quantity. Use a cotton pad to apply this on the affected areas. Regular use of this remedy will effectively reduce the dark spots of melasma.
  3. All you have to do is mash a papaya and apply its pulp directly on the affected areas. Leave it for at least 20 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water. Papaya establishes an even skin tone and makes the skin healthier.
*Disclaimer : Result may vary from person to person.