WHO GETS MELASMA?
Women are more commonly affected than men; more so during pregnancy known as the Mask of Pregnancy. Hormones seem to trigger melasma. Only 10% of people who get melasma are men. People with darker skin and a family history of melasma are more prone to develop melasma.
People with skin of color are more prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes that people with light skin color.
1 Sun exposure: Ultraviolet light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes. Excessive sun exposure can worsen the melasma in summer. It is the reason why melasma keeps on relapsing again and again.
2. Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, hypothyroidism, birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can also trigger melasma.
3. Skin care products: if facial or bleaching cream, cosmetics, any home or internet remedy such as Apple cider vinegar Or any other skincare product irritates the skin, it can worsen the melasma.
1. Treatment of the cause: like vitamin deficiencies, hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalance
2. Topical creams like glycolic acid, azelaic acid, sabiwhite cream etc
3. Procedures: for melasma may include a chemical peel, microdermabrasion,
photo facial, laser treatment, oxyfusion, hydrafacial, mesotherapy.
OUTCOME: Under a dermatologist's treatment, many people observe good results. We can achieve usually 40 to 60 % reduction; but in some cases, we can achieve 70 to 95 % Clearance of melasma depending upon the cause.
Melasma can be stubborn, though it may take many months of therapy to see improvement. It is important to follow your dermatologist's advice. This helps in achieving good results.
After melasma clears, you must continue using sunscreen and follow instructions given by your dermatologist.
PREVENTION OF RECURRENCE :
One can prevent recurrence by
Wearing sunscreen with SPF 50: It is important to wear sunscreen every day; even on rainy and cloudy days. Also, it is important to wear sunscreen even indoors especially to avoid HEV radiation emitted by or computers, TV screens, smartphones. Even our cooking gas can increase the melasma.
Sunglasses & A wide-brimmed hat: Patients affected with melanoma should seek shade whenever outside and wear protective clothes with pastel shades
Gentle skin care products: should be used as per dermatologist's advice that doesn't sting or burn as products irritating the skin may worsen the melasma.
Stop waxing: as waxing may cause inflammation which can further worsen melasma. So it is important to avoid waking in the areas affected by melasma. Permanent laser hair reduction is the right choice for such areas.