Treat Melasma and Sun Damage!
What is Melasma?
This is a skin discoloration which is normally patchy brown, tan or blue-gray on facial skin. It is almost totally seen in women during reproductive years.
It is believed to be mainly related to external sun exposure, external hormones such as birth control pills as well as internal hormonal changes as are usually seen in pregnancy. The majority of individuals with melasma have a background of daily or intermittent exposure to the sun. Melasma is more frequently found among women who are pregnant – especially those of Asian as well as Latin descents. Those with darker or olive skin, such as Middle Eastern, Hispanic as well as Asian – have a much higher rate of melasma.
It is estimated that 6 million women in the United States have melasma and 45-50 million women globally have melasma. Primarily prevention is aimed at sun protection for the face as well as sun avoidance.
Clinical studies show that individuals normally develop melasma during the summer months, as that is when the sun is most intense. In winter, the hyperpigmentation in melasma is less visible or lighter.
When this condition occurs during pregnancy, it is known as chloasma or “the mask of pregnancy”.
Melasma may develop on the upper lip, forehead, nose as well as cheeks in brownish colors.
It normally appears in dark or irregular patches.
There are no further symptoms associated with this condition.
Melasma produces tan-brown, large, patches which are irregular, allocated symmetrically on the sides of the nose, cheeks as well as the forehead.
The symptoms of melasma are:
Irregular in shape
Dark brown or tan patches
Appears as dark or irregular patches
Distributed on cheeks, sides of the nose, forehead
Mostly associated with female hormones progesterone and estrogen.
Common in pregnant women, women who are on the pill, and women taking hormone replacement therapy.
Sun exposure is strong risk factor.
Develops due to a combination of genetic, hormonal as well as sun related factors.
Both UVA and UVB contribute to the formation of melasma in those who are predisposed.
Can develop in association with menopause, ovarian disorders as well as hormonal imbalance.
Triggered by medication known as Dilantin.
Seen in young men who use lotions, scented soaps, after-shave as well as other toiletries.
Side-effect of contraceptive pills as well as injected depot contraceptive preparations,
Sun exposure, Use of deodorant soaps, toiletries which are scented, various cosmetics.
Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy.