What Does Melasma Look Like

February 22, 2012

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Melasma is a condition that affects the skin by developing dark patches on the face. Melasma can occur on the inner layer of the skin called the dermal layer or the outer layer of the skin called epidermal layer. It is common among women as compared to men. This is so because of hormones that are found in the body of a woman. A doctor can diagnose Melasma by use of ultraviolet light of Wood’s lamp to look at the skin. Genetic predisposition can also determine if one can develop Melasma.


These hormones that contribute to Melasma are estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone increases when a woman is pregnant. This increases the production of melanin which when exposed to sunlight develop Melasma. Women also use contraceptives which contribute to changes in hormones causing hormonal imbalance. The use of hormonal replacement therapy also contributes to the hormonal imbalance.


Malasma is characterized by a dark hyper pigmentation that usually appears on the face. This hyper pigmentation is usually irregular and it is well demarcated. Malasma patches appear on the nose, lips, upper cheek, upper lip and the forehead. These are areas that are mostly exposed to the sunlight and are at risk to develop malasma.


Sunlight has certain rays that cause Melasma. Melasma patches usually develop with time causing cosmetic discoloration which is a major concern for most women. Women always want a clear face/skin that is spotless. Melasma can cause a discomfort for women especially when it develops on the face. Patients with thyroids are also likely to develop Melasma due to excessive production of melanocyte stimulating hormone which contributes to the production of melanin.


There various treatment methods available which can be used to treat Melasma. A dermatologist should be consulted before treating Melasma. Different skins will require different treatment. Treatment can treat one person but this does not necessary mean that it will work for the other person. Dermatologist will be able to identify correctly the right treatment that can be used. The various treatments that can be used include but not limited to following


Bleaching creams

Bleaching cream can be used to lighten the dark pigmentation on the skin. These creams may contain a lightening agent called hydroquinone which is paired with retinoid to increase cell turnover.


Chemical peel

They are used to cause exfoliation to increase cell turnover. Chemical peels that are used include glycolic acid peels and they are mixed with bleaching creams to treat Melasma.


Recent Melasma Articles:

Cure Melasma

Melasma Treated With The Birth Pill



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