Overview of melasma
Melasma, also known as chloasma or “mask of pregnancy,” is a common condition in pregnant women. In fact, it affects the majority of pregnancies, affecting up to 50% to 70% of expectant mothers. Melasma usually appears as dark brown patches of skin, mostly on the forehead, nose, upper lip, and cheeks – hence the nickname “the mask”.
These dark areas, which can range from light brown to dark brown, are usually symmetrical and appear evenly on both sides of the face. Less common, these spots can occur in other parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight, such as the neck or forearms.
Symptoms of melasma
Dark patches of skin appear on the forehead, temples, cheeks, or over the upper lip. The symptoms are completely cosmetic – you will not feel sick, and dark skin will not be painful.
What causes melasma?
The cause of melasma is complex. It has been suggested that it is a disorder of photoaging in genetically susceptible individuals. Pigmentation is eventually brought about by the overproduction of melanin by (melanocytes). It is either taken up by keratinocytes (epidermal coagulating) and/or saved in the dermis (dermal thrombosis, melanophage).
Include factors involved in the development of melasma:
- Family history – 60% reported that family members were infected
- Sun exposure – UV rays and visible light boost melanin production
- Hormones – pregnancy, use of estrogen/progesterone-containing oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, implants, and hormone replacement therapy, have been implicated in a quarter of affected women; Thyroid disorders can be associated with melasma
- Scented medicines and products – new anti-cancer therapies, perfumed soaps, cosmetics, and cosmetics may cause a photocatalytic reaction to stimulate melasma
- Researchers are studying the roles of stem cells, neurons, blood vessels, and local hormonal agents in promoting melanocyte activation.
A doctor will diagnose melasma by looking at your skin. Your medical history will help determine any factors that may have caused the disorder. Your doctor may use a special lamp that emits ultraviolet light. This allows the doctor to more clearly see patterns of change in skin color and depth.
Is melasma treatable?
For some women, melasma disappears on its own. This usually happens when it is caused by pregnancy or birth control pills.
There are creams that your healthcare professional can prescribe that can lighten the skin. They may also prescribe topical steroids to help lighten the affected areas. If these options do not work, chemical peels, skin resurfacing, and skin resurfacing are possible options. These treatments strip the top layers of skin and may help lighten dark spots.
These procedures do not guarantee that the costs will not return, and some cases of melasma cannot be completely lightened. You may have to return for follow-up visits and adhere to some skin treatment practices to reduce the risk of your melasma returning. This includes minimizing your exposure to the sun and using sunscreen daily.
The melasma associated with pregnancy usually resolves automatically within a year. Many issues are eventually resolved but it can take a long time to do so. Few treatments are completely successful. Constant exposure to sunlight tends to hinder treatment and lead to repetition.
Melasma may negatively affect the quality of life due to its effect on appearance, especially because it tends to appear on the face with the consequent psychosocial implications. However, it is not a pre-cancerous condition and is primarily a cosmetic issue.
The best way to prevent melasma is to limit your skin’s exposure to the sun. If you go out in the sun, take these precautions:
- Wear a cap with an edge to conceal and ensure your face.
- Apply sunscreen (such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) to high-risk areas.
- Use a sunscreen that shields from UVA and UVB beams. Sunscreen ought to have a sun security factor (SPF) of in any event 30.