Melasma Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
What is Melasma?
Melasma is an acquired dark brown or tanned hyperpigmentation that occurres on the exposed surfaces of the body, like the face; mainly from exposure to sunlight. Melasma is more common in women, more so in pregnant women and among those who are taking hormone replacement medication, patch or oral contraceptives. It is also evident in women and men of Native American descent in body areas like forearms. Melasma pictures show that people who are dark skinned or wheatish skinned of the Asian, Middle-East, Latin, Hispanic, African and Indian race are more prone to get the skin disorder.
Symptoms of Melasma
Melasma symptoms are in the form of dark, irregular hyperpigmented patches found on the nose, lips, cheeks, forehead of the face. You can find uneven shaped patches on the sides of the face as well. The patches are known to develop over a period of time. There are no other major symptoms besides the cosmetic staining.
Melasma is caused due to the stimulation of pigment cells by progesterone and estrogen in the female body. This lead to creation of more melanin pigments on exposure to sun. Women who have light brown complexion and exposed to sun frequently are more at risk to develop Melasma. It has also been seen that people who have thyroid disease are more likely to be affected with Melasma. Stress that leads to excess melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) can also increase the risk. Allergic reactonis to cosmetics and medicines are also other causes of Melasma. Genetic predisposition is also a main aspect in determining whether an individual will contract the skin disorder. In some cases, a particular mediation called Dilantin is also known to cause problem. As far as men are concerned, the ones who start using cosmetics, scented soaps excessively are at risk.
• The pigmentation on the skin mostly does go away after a period of few months after giving birth or once the person stops using oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy.
• If you want faster treatment for Melasma, you can take topical depigmenting creams that contain hydroquinone (HQ) with 2 percent strength in case of over-the counter ones and 4 percent strength in case of prescription medication. Hydroquinone works by preventing the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in the production of melanin.
• Melanocytes can also be decreased with the application of Azelaic acid (20%),
• Some dermatologists recommend facial peel with alpha hydroxyacids or chemical peels with glycolic acid.
• Ultrasound facials with topical gel or cream can also reduce pigmentation
• Laser treatment is one of the best treatment for melasma. A wood lamp test which diagnoses Melasma can also find out if melasma is on epidermis or dermis. If melasma is dermal, then Fraxel laser is used to lighten the skin along with Triulma cream which contains mandelic acid.
It is important to avoid exposure to sunlight and the result will appear gradually. The dermatologist will also ask you to use sunscreens which contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide as regards to chemical blockers.