Sometimes when dark patches or any skin colouration appear on our face or near jawline then most of the people ignore them by saying that these patches are due to tanning of sun or from dust and pollution. Without knowing the real problem they try home remedies or any cosmetic cream on skin patches to make them lighter which is not right!! There are numerous reasons due to which discolouration is visible or occur, lightly taking them may affect
When the real causes of the patches or discolouration are unknown to everyone. But don’t take them lightly as these patches may occur due to hormonal imbalance or excessive exposure of the body in sunlight or cosmetic effects
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a prevalent skin problem which frequently occurs in women but sometimes in men also. Generally, it is described by the appearance of brown patches found various sizes and occur prominently on special regions of the body such as cheeks, jaw, upper lip, and forehead mostly cover the facial region. It can occur due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or from excessive exposure of the sun. In women, melasma often fades on its own after pregnancy or after avoiding or stopping the consumption of contraceptive pills. Skin lightening creams can help in reducing the patches in case of melasma.
Causes of Melasma
Melasma can be caused by various factors. Some of them are as follow:
1. Exposure in Sunlight- This is the most common and biggest problem due to which melasma occurs. It majorly excites the production of melanin in the melanocyte which gives skin its tan or brown colour and helps in protecting the deeper layers of the skin. Visible light and ultraviolet rays provide abnormal pigmentation on the skin.
2. Hormonal Changes- It is the most common triggering factors in women due to which many changes can be seen in the body. It generally arises either during pregnancy or if someone is on birth control pills or taking hormonal therapy or suffering from hormonal imbalance.
3. Use of Cosmetics- Cosmetic products, if not chosen wisely or used extremely can also lead to irritation and worsening of melasma condition. In this case, skin type also plays a major role to play in increasing the condition of melasma. It is more likely for melasma to develop in darker skin type than fairer skin type
Symptoms of Melasma
Melasma causes patches of discolouration. The patches are darker than your usual skin colour. It typically occurs on the face and is symmetrical, with matching marks on both sides of the face. Other areas of your body that are often exposed to the sun can also develop melasma.
Brownish coloured patches usually appear on the facial portions such as on the forehead, nose line, chin, jawline and sometimes it also occurs on neck and forearms. The skin blot doesn’t do any physical harm. If you see these symptoms of melasma, consult your healthcare professional or a dermatologist who specializes in treating skin disorders.
Types of Melasma
Melasma can be divided into the following type:
1. Epidermal Melasma
This is characterized by dark brown patches on the epidermal layer of the skin and can be visibly differentiated from the normal skin. Epidermal melasma responds well to the treatment.
2. Dermal Melasma
This is a deeper variant and merges very well with the normal skin and generally appears light brown and bluish.
3. Mixed Melasma
As the name suggests, this is a combination of epidermal and dermal melasma. Thus it can be either appear as light brown, dark brown or bluish patches. Sometimes the patches may be a combination of all of them. If treated under expert guidance, there are chances of partial improvement.
Women affecting with Melasma should immediately consult their dermatologist before opting for any treatments or home remedy as it can affect your skin more and it may difficult to treat those patches from your skin. Also, confirm if the dark skin patches are melasma and also investigate its causes. Make a note that melasma is a very difficult condition to manage and sometimes may be associated with episodes of recurrence. The following precautions can be followed.
1. Sun Protection-
It is a must for anyone and everyone. Always apply sunscreen multiple times a day. Sunscreen can be chosen as per one’s skin type. Always use a sunscreen that is SPF 50+. A physical sunscreen is a good option for those who stay outdoors for a longer time duration. Further sun protection can be taken care of with apt dressing that covers the exposed areas like scarves, sunglasses, hats, etc.
2. Oral Sunscreens-
For further benefits, oral sunscreens can be taken under the guidance of your dermatologist. Unlike physical sunscreen, they can be taken once in a day and are less time-consuming. Polypodium leucotomos, which is a fern extract, is a great oral sunscreen that has both photoreceptive effects and antioxidant properties.
3. Nominal Medications-
Certain dermatologists prescribed creams that help in the reduction of melasma patches. Creams that contain ingredients like kojic acid, hydroquinone, and azelaic acid are prescribed to lighten melasma. It is advised to start any such medications under the supervision of your dermatologist as if not followed correctly over the counter medications tend to do more harm than good.
4. Chemical Peel-
A chemical peel helps in the regeneration of new skin cells at a faster pace which increases the cellular turnover. It helps in excluding off the sun-damaged skin cells and replacing them with new skin cells. Peels like glycolic peel, retinol, lactic acid peel, and TCA peel can be done under expert supervision at an interval of 3 to 4 weeks.
It is another option in which fine diamond crystals are vacuumed across the skin under pressure. It is done by exfoliation and increasing all turnover, which speeds the transit of unwanted pigment out of your skin.
6. Laser Toning-
This procedure of toning effectively treats headstrong pigmentation problem by giving low energy from the laser, which leads to a decrease in melanin production in the external layers of the skin. It also helps in exciting collagen and elastin.
7. Meso Facials
These work by infusing active ingredients that helps in skin lightening and thus reducing the melasma. Active ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, glutathione. It evens out the skin tone and illuminates the complexion. These active ingredients are infused into the skin layers using electroporation, thus helps in the renewal of the epidermal layer of skin by protecting it from free radical damage.
8. Magic Blend Treatment
It is one of the most effective and innovative blends of chemicals which work upon all kinds of skin type and pigments. It has a dual action of both corrective and controlling, which helps in achieving short and long term results. It is a dual step procedure in which the first application of this blend is done by the doctor. This aims at diminishing the dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Melasma is a problematic skin condition that can take a longer time to settle and go for a proper treatment plan and medications as guided by your dermatologist. So we advise you to take precautionary actions to prevent such a stubborn skin problem as soon as you start experiencing any of the skin symptoms.