The Causes and Treatments of Melasma

September 19, 2017 / Renee
Treatments of Melasma

Many women deal with dark spots and patches on their face these days, without even knowing that this may be a skin condition called melasma. If you want to learn something more about this condition, just stay with us and keep on reading. Here are some explanations of the symptoms, causes, and treatments of melasma, as well as a couple of tips on how to cope with it on a daily basis.

What is melasma?

Melasma is a very common skin problem which most often occurs in pregnant women, or in those who either use contraceptives or take hormone replacement therapy. It’s also called chloasma, or the ‘mask of pregnancy’. Even though women are more likely to face this condition, the truth is that men can get it, too. Basically, melasma is a patchy brown or blue-grey skin discolouration that occurs on the skin due to the overproduction of pigment. These dark patches often appear on the jaw, nose, forehead, and cheekbones, and you should know that this condition can’t be permanently cured, but it can certainly be effectively treated.

What are the symptoms of melasma?

As already stated, melasma causes patches of discolouration on your skin. These patches are darker than your skin, and what’s particularly interesting about this condition is the fact that it occurs symmetrically – with matching marks on both sides of your face. However, it can also occur on other areas of your body, particularly those exposed to the sun. So, apart from your face, melasma can also be seen on your neck and forearms. Even though this condition can’t cause any physical harm, it can certainly affect your self-esteem and make you feel conscious about the way it looks.

The causes and risk factors of melasma

Even though we can’t say for sure what really causes melasma, the fact is that estrogen and progesterone sensitivity is closely related to this condition. This is exactly why pregnancy, hormone therapy, and birth control pills are highly likely to trigger melasma. Besides that, high stress levels and thyroid disease are also said to cause this condition. You should also know that people with darker skin colour are more at risk than ones with fair skin.

How can it be treated?

There are several ways to treat melasma, but Q-Switch lasers are probably the most effective resource for treating this condition. This treatment for melasma does an amazing job simply because it has the ability to select and deliver the laser wavelength to the required depth of discolouration. This machine actually delivers two classes of therapeutic laser – one suitable for the treatment of near surface (epidermal) skin pigmentation, and the other for the treatment of pigmentation in deep (dermal) layers of the skin.

Coping and living with melasma

As already mentioned, melasma can’t be permanently cured, even though it can disappear on its own, which typically happens when it’s caused by pregnancy or birth control pills. However, you can make sure that this condition doesn’t get any worse by taking prescribed medication, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, and protecting your face from the sun’s rays with a wide-brimmed hat. You can also use makeup to cover those discoloured areas, but if you’re really self-conscious about your melasma, the best way to cope with it is to talk to your doctor or maybe a local support group. Knowing that there are other people dealing with the same condition can be very helpful.

As you can see, melasma is a skin condition that occurs as discolouration on your face, neck, and even forearms. Be sure to see your doctor right away if you recognise the symptoms, since that’s the only way to deal with this condition properly.

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