Melasma

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About Melasma

  • Melasma is a pigment disorder of the cells resulting in dark patches on the face. These patches are often seen on the face, with distinct edges. In particular, They are seen on the cheekbones, forehead, nose and upper lip. It can also develop in other areas of the face.
  • Having brown patches on the face which are darker than your natural skin colour can be really embarrassing especially in social situations.
  • Although Melasma can occur in both men and women, it is thought to be more prevalent in women. It is common in women, between the ages of 20 to 50.
  • The exact cause of Melasma is unknown; however, there are several factors that can trigger Melasma.

Genetic

  • A person’s genetic predisposition plays a part in whether someone develops Melasma. Also, people with darker olive skin have a higher occurrence of Melasma.

Hormonal

  • External hormones such as birth control pills and Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT) or pregnancy can bring on Melasma. When Melasma occurs during pregnancy it is known as the “mask of pregnancy”.

Thyroid disease

  • The incidence of Melasma also increases in patients with thyroid disease.

Sun Exposure

  • UV exposure is considered to be the leading cause of Melasma especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to the condition. Hyperpigmentation in Melasma always appears darker in the summer months.
  • Sun protection is most important in people with Melasma: complete protection needs to be worn every day. “one day of unprotected sun exposure in a person prone to Melasma can undo months of treatment, especially those with a tendency to develop deeper pigmentation”.

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