Melasma Information and Treatment
Melasma is a dark skin discoloration found on
sun-exposed areas of the face. Brownish in color, it is exacerbated
by sun exposure, pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and certain
anti-epilepsy drugs. Melasma is reasonably common, especially in
women of child-bearing age. The disorder is most common in sunny
climates and in people of Latin or Asian origin. Melasma produces
irregular, patchy areas of dark color that are the same on both
sides of the face. The pigmentation most often occurs in the center
of the face and on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and nose.
Different types of melasma occur depending on the location of the
excess melanin, in the epidermis or the dermis. Melasma is thought
to be caused by elevated levels of estrogen, progesterone, and
melanocyte-stimulating hormone (a hormone that causes melanin cells
to make more melanin). Pregnancy-induced melasma usually resolves
after delivery, but may return with subsequent pregnancies or with
oral contraceptives. Treatment of melasma depends on the type and
involves skin-lightening agents and sometimes tretinoin (Retin-A).
The proper use of sunscreen is also important because UV light can
Chloasma is another name for melasma. Melasma is
a common skin disorder that can affect anyone but is most noted in
young women with brownish skin tones. It is more often associated
with female hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Melasma is often
seen in pregnant women, women who are taking oral contraceptives and
women taking hormone replacement therapy. Exposure to the sun is
also a large factor and in seen more in tropical. It is common in
women above aged 20. Mostly it is develop during pregnancy. It can
occur in Asians, Africa, Indians or people from the Middle East.
Melasma gets worse in the summer but it may fades in winter.