Melasma is a common sun-induced skin condition that causes dark patches on the face. It usually appears after several months of exposure to the sun and can also appear on other body parts, such as the chest, back, neck, and arms,
An overproduction of melanin causes melasma. So, hormonal imbalance can cause it during pregnancy and menstruation. The good news is that it is treatable and preventable. But if left untreated, it can cause severe psychological distress.
The condition is neither contagious nor a sign of cancer or allergy. However, you can use to brighten and fade the dark spots, improve radiance, and correct sun damage, resulting in clearer, brighter skin.
Symptoms of Melasma
Upon sun exposure, melasma can appear on any part of the body, especially on the forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. You will notice these areas looking darker than the surrounding skin. This appearance is the major sign of melasma. The affected skin is not itchy or painful but may cause embarrassment. Melasma is more notable during the summer months.
Causes of Melasma
Although the exact of melasma is still unclear, researchers think skin melanocytes overproduce pigment in specific areas. Therefore, melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation. Hormone changes caused by contraceptives or pregnancy trigger and worsens melasma. Also, exposure to UV light triggers melasma. However, melasma is not hereditary but is common in family members with a history of this condition.
Getting a melasma diagnosis is relatively easy for experienced doctors and dermatologists. By looking at your skin, they can tell whether you have melasma. However, some rare cases require the removal of a small section of skin through local anesthesia. The skin is then examined to eliminate any skin condition that resembles melasma to ensure you get the proper treatment, like melasma treatment cream.
How to Treat Melasma
Besides melasma treatment cream, there are other ways to treat melasma in a medical setting and at home. However, treatment options vary depending on the patient. For instance, some treatments may not be for pregnant women. As a result, your dermatologist should advise you accordingly to ensure you get the right treatment options.
The first treatment of melasma is avoiding the triggers. If a contraceptive pill causes melasma, not taking it can help treat the condition. In cases of sun exposure, avoid direct sunlight and protect your skin against the sun by using sunscreen.
Also, you can use concealers or skin camouflage to hide mild melasma patches. You can also use skin lightening creams to reverse the skin darkening. These creams work by preventing the production of melanin by pigment cells. However, it is advisable to have a dermatologist recommend or prescribe such creams and then monitor their effect on your skin to identify side effects or skin damage.
Also, some people opt for chemical peels, laser, and microneedling treatments instead of melasma treatment cream. These processes remove or puncture the affected outer skin layer. Ensure to consult a dermatologist before going through such procedures.
If you get melasma from pregnancy, your skin might improve after childbirth. However, if yours is from sun exposure, consider melasma treatment cream and other treatments. However, it is always best to protect your skin using sunscreens and avoid exposure to melasma triggers.