What is Melasma ? Causes and Treatment


Melasma is a very common tan, brown or blue-gray facial skin decoloration of the skin mostly seen in women specially in reproductive years.

It usually visible on the upper lips, cheeks, forehead and on the chin of mostly women with the age of 21-50+ years, its uncommon in men but it is seem in some cases but the ratio is having in women is huge. It is usually thought that is come visible due to more exposure in sun and for those who work under sun, external hormones like birth control pills and internal hormonal changes as seen in pregnancy. Sun exposure is the most common cause of this disease, it is found in latin and asians, people with darker skin like hispanics Asians, Africans and olive darker skin victims may have it and there is more chance for them to have it, 6 million patients of melasma are in U.S and about 85% are all around world and mostly are women.


Causes of Melasma :

1. Exact cause is unknown yet.
2. Pregnancy.
3. Birth control pills may cause melasma.
4. Sun exposure sufficient amount of ultra voilent rays.
5. Genetic predisposition.
6. Inheritance.


Diagnosis of Melasma :

1. The main point from which it is mostly diagnosed is by the typical appearance of brownish skin patches on the whole face of a person.
2. By examination of skin by an expert of skin.
3. Hyperpigmentation on skin.
4. Change in tone of skin.
5. Small dark patches occur on the skin.


Treatment of Melasma :

1. Hydroquinone creams like the over-the-counter products Esoterica and Porcelana and prescription 4% creams like Obagi Clear, Glyquin, Tri-Luma, and Solaquin. Products with HQ concentrations above 2% generally require a prescription.
2. Use of sun screen avoiding masks or avoiding ultarvoilent rays.
3. A phenolic hypopigmenting agent, azelaic acid, and retinoic acid (tretinoin), nonphenolic bleaching agents, and/or kojic acid may be prescribed.

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