Do you have patches of uneven skin color on your face? You may have melasma. Melasma is a common skin condition that causes brown, gray, or black patches on the skin. It can occur on any part of the body, but it’s most commonly found on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. While there is no cure for melasma, there are treatments that can help improve the appearance of your skin.
This guide will help you understand :
What is melasma?
Melasma is a common skin condition that causes brown, gray, or black patches on the skin. It can occur on any part of the body, but it’s most commonly found on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. Melasma can affect anyone, but it’s more common in women and people with darker skin
There are two types of melasma:
- Epidermal melasma – This type of melasma affects the top layer of skin (epidermis). It’s more common in people with darker skin.
- Dermal melasma – This type of melasma affects the second layer of skin (dermis). It’s more common in women.
What are the causes of melasma?
The exact cause of melasma is unknown. However, it’s thought to be related to hormones, sun exposure, and genetics.
- Hormones – Melasma is often triggered by an increase in hormones. This can happen during pregnancy, when taking birth control pills, or when using hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
- Sun exposure – Sun exposure can make melasma worse. UV rays can stimulate the production of melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color.
- Genetics – Melasma can run in families. If someone in your family has the condition, you’re more likely to develop it.
How do dermatologists treat melasma?
There are a variety of treatments available for melasma. The best treatment for you will depend on the severity of your melasma, your skin type, and your preference.
- Topical treatments: Topical treatments are applied to the skin. They can be purchased over-the-counter (OTC) or prescribed by a dermatologist. OTC topical treatments typically contain hydroquinone, a lightening agent that helps to fade dark spots. Prescription topical treatments may contain more powerful ingredients, such as corticosteroids, tretinoin, and azelaic acid.
- Chemical peels: A chemical peel is a procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layer of dead skin cells. This can help improve the appearance of melasma.
- Laser therapy: Laser therapy uses concentrated beams of light to treat melasma. There are a variety of different laser treatments available, and your dermatologist will choose the best one for you based on your skin type.
How long does it take to treat melasma?
The length of time it takes to treat melasma varies from person to person. In general, it takes longer to lighten dark spots than it does to prevent them from getting darker.
- Topical treatments: Topical treatments typically take 2-3 months to see results. You may need to use them for 6-12 months to maintain the results.
- Chemical peels: It may take 2-6 peels to see results. Peels are usually done once a month.
- Laser therapy: You may need 2-3 sessions to see results. Sessions are typically spaced 4-6 weeks apart.
How can I prevent melasma from coming back?
The best way to prevent melasma is to avoid triggers that can cause it. There are a few things you can do to help prevent melasma from coming back:
- Wear sunscreen – Wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can help protect your skin from the sun and prevent melasma from coming back.
- Avoid triggers – If you know what triggers your melasma (e.g., pregnancy, birth control pills, HRT), try to avoid them.
- Use makeup – If you have melasma, you can use makeup to cover up the dark spots. Look for foundation or concealer that contains SPF to help protect your skin from the sun.
Apart from above mentioned, pregnancy, birth control pills, and HRT can also contribute to Melasma.
We hope this guide was helpful in understanding more about melasma! If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your dermatologist. Thank you for reading!