What Causes Melasma?

December 29, 2010

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Melasma is one of many types of skin conditions that have been discovered. Some are very common and affect many people while others are rare. For some the symptoms can be shared with other skin conditions while others also have their own unique symptoms. Of the many skin conditions that exist one of them is melasma.

This is a skin condition that mostly affects pregnant women. Its symptoms include patches of discoloration on the forehead, cheeks and upper arms. The discoloration can be red, brown or even black. This skin condition is said to be caused by fluctuating hormonal levels during pregnancy, changes in hormonal levels because of taking birth control and extreme exposure to the sun.

Too much sunlight

What many people don’t know is that most skin conditions would be eliminated only if proper care was taken of the skin when out in the sun. The sun produces heat and UV rays. These rays are harmful to the skin and are the number one cause of skin cancer. When these rays are exposed to the skin, they cause the melanocytes to trigger the production of more melanin thus leading to darker skin.


A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes when she falls pregnant. This is because she is now supporting a baby’s life in her womb and for it to grown into a healthy being it has to be nourished and protected by its mother. Pregnancy helps the body be fully equipped to support another life. The changes in the hormone levels may trigger the overproduction of melanin in the skin thus leading to dark patches on the skin.

Effects of the birth control pill

Many women who are on medication by taking the birth control pills also are at risk of getting melasma. This is because the chemicals found in these pills mimic the reactions in a pregnant woman thus leading the body to also produce a lot of melanin leading to melasma. Apart from it causing melasma, birth control pills also lead to weight gain in women.

Melasma is a condition that is common among pregnant women but is not limited to them. There have been cases of men who develop melasma and women too who’ve never fallen pregnant and nor have they been put on the birth control pill.

Melasma will clear up on its own a few months after giving birth and ending the birth control medication.

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