How about a glowing skin? Pretty face with a bright skin tone always makes you feel attractive. Beautiful skin gives you an aesthetic appeal to your beauty. Your beauty even doubles self-confidence.
Well, our best dermatologists at Padma Clinic say that those patches might be developed due to pigmentation. Pigmentation is said to be an abnormal change in the colour of your skin — usually, the color of the skin changes due to the irregular production of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives you a natural skin tone.
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a kind of hyperpigmentation and most commonly seen in people with darker skin tone. The patches on the skin are brown, tan, or grey color skin discolouration. They are frequently observed in women during reproductive years.
It usually appears on the forehead, nose and cheeks of women aged between 20-50 years. If Melasma occurs during pregnancy, it is called the mask of pregnancy or chloasma. Melasma or chloasma looks similar to age spots but are larger and appear during pregnancy or while taking contraceptive pills.
What causes Melasma?
The exact cause of Melasma is unclear. But it is thought to be caused due to external sun exposure, taking birth control pills, and hormonal changes during pregnancy in the body.
Sun Exposure: Visible light and ultraviolet rays can lead to abnormal, abnormal pigmentation.
Pregnancy: Around 50-70% of women are being affected by chloasma during pregnancy. However, the exact reason for the appearance of Melasma during pregnancy is yet to be found.
Hormonal changes: certain medication like birth control pills might make the skin more prone to pigmentation if exposed to UV rays.
Genetics: People with a family history of Melasma are at an increased risk of developing Melasma.
Use of certain medications, hypothyroidism can also cause Melasma.
Types of Melasma
Epidermal : It is characterised by dark brown coloured patches on the skin with well-lined borders. This type of Melasma responds to treatment very well and is visible under black light.
Dermal: It is characterised by light brown or some bluish coloured patches with uneven borders. This type of Melasma might not respond to treatment properly.
Mixed: It is the most common type of Melasma and appears as a combination of light, bluish, and dark brown patches. This type is well responsive to treatment.
Treatment For Melasma
In some cases, Melasma doesn’t require any treatment because it goes on its own. Melasma during pregnancy or while taking contraceptive pills may fade away after delivery or once you stop taking the pills.
It might last for years or even a lifetime. If it does not fade away over time, you can seek treatment to remove or fade the patches.
- Hydroquinone is the first line of treatment suggested by doctors for Melasma. It is available as a cream or lotion directly applied to the patches of discoloured skin accurately at night for 2–4 months. It lightens the colour of the patches.
- Non-hydroquinone creams like Azelaic acid can be used to treat Melasma.
- Kojic acid or Kojic acid dipalmitate, retinoic acid (tretinoin), non phenolic bleaching agents can also be used in the treatment of Melasma.
For severe melasma cases, a higher concentration of HQ creams or combination of HQ with other components like tretinoin, corticosteroids, or glycolic acid may be effective in lightening the skin.
When topical medications don’t work, your dermatologist might suggest procedures such as:
- Chemical peel
- Laser treatment
- Light therapy
Our Skin Specialist at Padma Clinic can provide treatment for any kind of pigmentation problems. If you are struggling with Melasma or other skin issues, book an appointment and visit us. You don’t have to live with pigmentation problems anymore.