Melasma is a tan or dark facial skin discoloration. Melasma is particularly common in women, especially pregnant women. Melasma is an acquired of sun-exposed areas. The symptoms of melasma are dark, irregular patches commonly found on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upperlip, and forehead. These patches often develop gradually over time. Melasma does not cause any other symptoms beyond the cosmetic discoloration. Melasma is an acquired hypermelanosis of sun-exposed areas. It presents as symmetric hyperpigmented macules, which can be confluent or punctate. The cheeks, the upper lip, the chin, and the forehead are the most common locations, but it can occasionally occur in other sun-exposed locations. Chloasma is especially common in women aged 20-40. It affects the forehead, cheeks and upper lips. It occurs frequently during pregnancy and is more common in dark skins than in fair skins. The most important factor in the development of melasma is exposure to sunlight. Cause of melasma is genetics, hormonal changes, and sun exposure are known to play important roles.
Melasma also increases in patients with thyroid disease. It is thought that the overproduction of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) brought on by stress can cause outbreaks of this condition. Other rare causes of melasma include allergic reaction to medications and cosmetics.Melasma is thought to be the stimulation of melanocytes or pigment-producing cells by the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone to produce more melanin pigments when the skin is exposed to sun. Women with a light brown skin type who are living in regions with intense sun exposure are particularly susceptible to developing this condition. Genetic predisposition is also a major factor in determining whether someone will develop melasma. Other factors that make it more likely that a person will get melasma include using medications that make you sensitive to the sun (photosensitizing). These can include some cosmetics and medicines used to treat ovarian or thyroid problems.
Teatment of Melasma
Apply the bleaching cream first then the sunscreen on top.Bleaching creams contain hydroquinone, which inhibits formation of new pigment. Bleaching creams take 3 to 6 months to obtain a worthwhile lightening of pigmentation.Stop daily bleaching cream after six months. Tretinoin always causes a degree of pinkness and peeling of the facial skin which can be controlled by starting with a little then building up. It may fade freckles, improve acne and smooth wrinkles. A sun screen must be applied as well. Avoid applying bleaching cream to normal skin as this will lighten as well. Sun protection is very important to minimise sun exposure on the face. Use a broad-spectrum very high protection factor sunscreen of reflectant type and apply it to the whole face. Avoid irritating the facial skin No strong soaps or abrasive cleaners – use only a mild soap or cleanser for washing.
Laser peel resurfacing is sometimes worthwhile. It is very important to follow up with careful sun avoidance and it may also be necessary to use hydroquinone. Another approach to chloasma is to use special camouflage cosmetics. Wear a hat with a brim to shade and protect your face. Apply sun block (such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) to vulnerable areas.Use sunscreen that protects against both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation. The sunscreen should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Azelaic acid cream inhibits formation of pigment and is also effective against acne. Try it first on a small test area of the chloasma as described above for bleaching creams. There can be mild stinging after putting it on. This will settle with continued use of the cream. Superficial chemical peels (glycolic acid or Jessner solution) may be helpful. Deeper chemical peels run the risk of increasing pigmentation and causing uneven results, but may be recommended in severe cases.
Home Remedies of Melasma
1.Add 20 drops lavender and chamomile essential oil for a cool and soothing bath.
2.Grated cucumber can be applied all over the face. The juice is good for the skin around eyes too.
3.A thin paste of sandalwood applied to the sunburn area is beneficial
4.Wash the affected area with an antibacterial soap to prevent secondary infection.
5.Apply cold aloe vera gel, apple cider vinegar, or plantain to help heal sunburn.
6.Add a little lemon juice to milk and apply with cotton wool. Mayonnaise can also be applied by itself. It helps to soothe sunburn.
7.Add 20 drops of urtica urens tincture in four ounces of water and bathe the bruised area.
8.Before and after showering apply coconut or neem oil on your body.
9.When you are swimming in the sea, or in an open-air pool, remember to apply sunscreen before and after your swim.
10.Make a paste of Barley, turmeric and yogurt in equal proportions. Apply it over the area.