What is Melasma, and How Can it be Treated?

When a woman experiences various skin problems, it is important to first get a better understanding of how those skin problems are caused. For example, when a woman experiences various pimples, then that is an indication that hormones or various diet choices are triggering the sebaceous glands to produce oil, which in turn clogs the pores.

But what really causes another skin condition that is known as Melasma happens to a woman? This condition is marked by medium to dark brown irregular pigmentations on the face, which occur most prominently on the forehead, nose, and cheeks. Although some men do get Melasma, it is considered to be almost exclusively something that occurs in women.

What makes Melasma especially different from various other skin conditions is the fact that it is not exactly known what causes it. However, there are certain trends that have allowed dermatologists to gain a better understanding of what the causes might be.

Women who have darker skin seem especially prone to getting this skin condition, especially women of Middle Eastern and Hispanic descent. Additionally, it is thought that hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can cause this irregular skin pigmentation. In fact, it is almost always associated with pregnant women, and as soon as the pregnancy is over, the irregular skin pigmentation often disappears.

Another possible cause of Melasma is excessive sun exposure. When the skin is exposed to a lot of ultraviolet rays from the sun on a regular basis, this triggers the skin to produce melanin. Melanin is a form of skin pigmentation that the skin produces in order to protect itself. However, if too much melanin is produced, then the person can become at risk for skin cancer.

When it comes to the various ways that this skin condition can be treated, the first way is to make sure that the woman stays out of the sun. Or, if she does want to get some sun, it is important that she wear an SPF of 30 or more. If SPF is not readily available, many women thing that wearing a hat or long sleeved clothing will be able to work just as well. While the hat might be somewhat helpful, it is important to note that the rays of the sun can permeate clothing.

If the woman notices that the irregular skin pigmentation usually occurs only when she is pregnant, then she can use foundation to cover it until after the pregnancy, when her hormones return to normal. It is important to note that for safety purposes, the woman should avoid actual cosmetic procedures until after she has had her baby.

In regard to the kinds of cosmetic procedures that are available for this skin condition, most dermatologists will begin with various laser treatments such as Fraxel. The heat of the lasers eradicates the excess pigmentation on the upper layers of the skin, while at the same time the laser light stimulates new skin tissue to grow. Additionally, various kinds of bleaching creams might be used. It will thus be necessary for the woman to discuss treatment options with a dermatologist.


Have specific questions?

All Article Categories

Before & After Photos

Suggested Doctors

Recently Asked Questions