Updated: Dec 7, 2021
What is Melasma?
It is a common skin problem. It causes brown to gray-brown patches, usually on the face. Most people get it on the cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin and above their upper lip.
Women are far more likely than men to get melasma. It is so common in pregnancy that melasma is sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy”. Hormones seem to trigger melasma.
Melasma appears on women’s skin much more often than men skin. People with darker skin, such as those of Latin/Hispanic, North African, African-American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern or Mediterranean descent are more likely to get melasma. People who have blood relative who has a melasma also are much more likely to get melasma.
What causes Melasma?
What causes melasma is not yet clear. It likely occurs when the color making cells in the skin called melanocytes produce too much color. People with skin of color are more prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes then people with light skin.
It is important to know what triggers melasma:
-Sun exposure: UV light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes. In fact, just a small amount of sun exposure can make melasma return after fading. Sun exposure is why melasma often is worse in summer. It also is the main reason why many people with melasma get it again and again.
-A change in hormones: pregnant women often get melasma. Melasma appears in pregnancy, it is called chloasma. Birth control pills and hormone replacement medicines can also trigger melasma.
-Skin care products: if a product irritates your skin, Melasma can worsen.
Now let’s talk about the most important part-What are the effective treatments for melasma?
Melasma can fade on its own. This can happen after delivery taking her birth control pills.
However, some people have melasma for years, or even a lifetime. There are available melasma treatments. View below-
Hydroquinone: this medication is a common first treatment for melasma it is applied to the skin and works to even out your skin tone. Hydroquinone is no longer available without a prescription. If a hydroquinone is a good fit for you, your doctor can prescribe it.
Tretinoin and corticosteroids: to enhance skin lightening, your doctor may prescribe a second medicine. This medicine maybe tretinoin or a corticosteroid. Sometimes a medicine contains all these three medicines in one cream. This is often called called a triple cream.
There other topical medication’s like azelaic acid and kojic acid to lighten the skin.
Procedures: these include chemical peels, micro dermabrasion, laser treatments. It is important to know laser treatments can initially help but later can worsen the melasma.
Broad spectrum mineral sunscreen: it is crucial to wear sunscreen every day-rain or shine! In hot summer months, wear a wide brimmed hat every day to protect your skin.
Under doctor’s care, many people with melasma have a good outcome. Melasma can be stubborn, though. It may take a few months of treatment to see any improvement.
After your melasma clears, you may need to keep treating your skin. We call this maintenance therapy. Maintenance therapy can prevent melasma from returning.
We now offer prescription creams melasma as well as skin treatments at our office, Ethereal rejuvenation clinic. Please contact our office for questions or to book your appointment!
Thank you for reading!