Identifying the Potential Causes and Treatments of Melasma

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Have you started to notice some changes to your skin pigmentation? If you are startled to see brownish patches on your face, it is possible you are suffering the skin condition known as melasma. When you first discover it, you will naturally feel alarmed. However, you may find some peace once you understand what is and how to treat it.

What is Melasma?

While melasma does not have any symptoms you can feel, you will notice some changes to your skin’s pigmentation including brownish patches on your face. While most of these spots appear on the face, sometimes individuals will notice spots on their necks and forearms.

Typically, melasma affects women more often than men. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, “It is so common during pregnancy that melasma is sometimes called ‘the mask of pregnancy.’ Hormones seem to trigger melasma.” It also seems to be caused by birth control.

What Causes Melasma?

As melasma tends to affect women more often than men, hormones seem to play a like role in what causes it. Additionally, melasma affects people with darker skin tones more often. This appears to be caused by the color-making cells in one’s body. These cells are called melanocytes. People with darker skin tones have more active cells in their body than people with lighter skin tones.

In addition to the hormones and color-making cells in one’s body, melasma also appears to be caused by sun exposure. Those who spend time in the sun without protection are more likely to develop this skin condition. Finally, some skin care products can cause melasma.

How Can You Treat Melasma?

While melasma is a nuisance, there is the possibility it will fade over time. Fortunately, there are also different ways to treat melasma. The best way to treat melasma is to avoid it before it begins by protecting your skin against the harsh rays on the sun.

There are also several topical medications your dermatologist may prescribe to help treat it. For instance, one popular option is hydroquinone. Some doctors may also describe skin lightening medications such as corticosteroids. Unfortunately, these medications are dealing with more restrictions due to related risks.

Therefore, if you prefer not to use these types of medications, there is another topical cream made to treat melasma called Cysteamine cream that does not contain these ingredients. Cysteamine is natural and works to regulate melanin. This topical cream is considered the best treatment alternative to the hydroquinone and corticosteroids.

Finally, some people choose to have procedures done to remove the brownish spots on your skin. These options include chemical peels, laser treatments, microdermabrasion, and more. These procedures should only be done after earlier medical treatments do not work.

It generally takes a few months of treatment for melasma to improve and lessen. Then, it is up to the individual to practice a healthy skin routine to avoid a recurrence. While you are waiting for treatment to work, try to boost your self-confidence with the right attitude and the right wardrobe.

published by: Amy Oestereicher on:, on: September 13, 2017