Melasma Treatment Plans - Melasma is a common skin condition that results in brown or gray patches on the face. It's often called the "mask of pregnancy" because it's common in pregnant women. Melasma can also affect men, but it's much more common in women. There isn't a cure for melasma, but there are treatments that can help lighten the dark patches. If you're pregnant and have melasma, the good news is that it usually goes away after you have your baby. If you have melasma, you're not alone. Millions of people are affected by this condition. But there are things you can do to manage it and keep your skin looking its best.
- Epidermal melasma is the most common type. It occurs when there's an overproduction of melanin in the top layer of the skin. This type of melasma is more likely to respond to treatment.
- Dermal melasma is less common and occurs when there's an overproduction of melanin in the second layer of skin. This type of melasma is more challenging to treat.
Melasma can occur on any exposed body part to the sun, but melasma on face is the most common type. The dark patches usually appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and upper lip. They can also occur on the neck, forearms, and chest.
Melasma usually disappears after pregnancy but can recur with future pregnancies or birth control pills.
- Hormones: Melasma on face is often linked to hormones. Pregnant women and women who are taking birth control pills are more likely to develop melasma. The condition can also occur during menopause.
- Sun exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun stimulate the production of melanin, which can aggravate melasma.
- Family history: If you have a family member with melasma, you're more likely to develop the condition.
- Certain skin care products: Some cosmetics and skin care products can trigger melasma or make it worse.
- certain medications: Medications that contain estrogen or progesterone can cause melasma.
Though there is no cure, melasma treatment can help lighten the dark patches. Treatment options include:
- Sunscreen: Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can help prevent melasma from worsening.
- Hydroquinone: This skin-lightening agent is available in over-the-counter and prescription strength.
- Corticosteroids are anti-inflammatory drugs that can be taken orally or applied to the skin. Corticosteroids can help lighten melasma in some people.
- Laser therapy: Laser therapy uses intense pulses of light to break up the melanin in the skin. It's often used in combination with other treatments.
- Chemical peel: A chemical peel uses a solution to remove the top layer of skin, which can help lighten melasma.
-Avoid sun exposure: This is one of the most important things you can do to prevent melasma. Wear sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days. If you are outdoors for an extended period, wear protective clothing, such as a hat or a long-sleeved shirt.
- Avoid triggers: If you know what triggers your melasma (e.g., certain skincare products), avoid these triggers.
- Use birth control pills: If you're taking birth control pills, ask your doctor if there's a brand that's less likely to cause melasma.
- Take care of your skin: Gently clean your face twice daily and use mild, fragrance-free skin care products. Exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dead skin cells. Avoid scrubbing your skin too harshly, as this can irritate the skin and make melasma worse.