Some of us are unfortunate to experience and have normal skin. If others have trouble with different skin issues such as acne, wrinkles, fine lines, and more, others have permanent skin conditions that cannot be totally cured. The internet sometimes tells lies about having the perfect skin. But in this blog, we have something authentic for you that will make you want to embrace your unique self more. If you have a skin condition called Melasma, you are in the right spot, so continue reading!
What is Melasma?
Melasma is a usual skin condition that causes dark, blotchy, brownish, bilateral, and discolored patches to appear on your skin.
This skin problem was previously called chloasma, a Greek term for “to become green.” However, the term melasma was formed because brown skin is more typical than green. When Melasma happens during pregnancy, it is called a “mask of pregnancy.” Melasma occurs mainly in women, but it can appear in men too. The American Academy of Dermatology recorded that 90% of individuals who develop the skin condition are women.
Can I get Melasma?
Melasma is not a transmittable condition. However, anyone can get it. As mentioned earlier, the skin condition is more common to women, typically ages between 20 to 40 years old. Melasma is most typical for people who easily tan or have naturally brown skin. On the other hand, it is less typical for people with fair or black skin.
What are the Symptoms of Melasma?
Melasma causes patches of discoloration wherein these patches are darker than your skin color which is why it is noticeable. This skin condition commonly occurs on the face, with matching marks on both sides, and is symmetrical. In addition to this, other areas of the body that are more exposed to the sun can also develop Melasma.
The brownish, discolored patches can typically appear on the forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose bridge.
In some cases, these patches can be visible on your forearms or neck. Remember that Melasma is not harmful. However, it may affect your self-esteem because not everyone will like the way it looks.
What are the Causes of Melasma?
According to studies, the causes of Melasma are complicated to identify. But it is proposed that Melasma is a photoaging disorder in a genetically predisposed person. In Melasma, the pigmentation results from the melanin overproduction by pigment cells or melanocytes, either taken up by epidermal melanosis or keratinocytes and/or deposited in the dermal melanosis and melanophages or dermis.
It is also said that progesterone and estrogen sensitivity are associated with Melasma. Factors such as birth control pills, hormone therapy, pregnancy, thyroid disease, and stress trigger Melasma.
Additionally, sun exposure, family history, medications, scented products, and hormones also affect the development of Melasma. Researchers also examine the roles of cellular, vascular, stem cell, and local hormonal factors in promoting the activation of melanocytes.
Can Melasma be Diagnosed?
Melasma can be diagnosed. According to sources, a visual exam of the affected areas is enough to confirm that an individual has a skin condition. But to find out the causes of your case of Melasma, your doctor can conduct specific tests. An example of a test that your doctor can perform is the Wood’s lamp examination. In this process, a special light is held up to your skin, which will allow your healthcare provider to check fungal and bacterial infections. This process will also let your doctor determine the number of skin layers affected by Melasma.
Moreover, your healthcare professional may also conduct a biopsy to check for more severe skin conditions. This process will involve removing a part of the affected skin for testing.
What are the different types of Melasma?
Consulting your doctor will help you understand what type of Melasma you have. Melasma can be separated into dermal, epidermal, and mixed types. It depends on the level of increased melanin on the skin.
has the characteristics of being ill-defined on the border, light brown to blue-grey has no accentuation when tested on a wood lamp, reticulgobular in pattern, and usually has a poor response to treatment.
Epidermal Melasma is described as well-defined on the border, is dark brown, appears more obvious on wood lamps, is scattered brown reticular network with dark granules, and has typically good response in treatment.
Mixed Melasma is the most usual type of Melasma. It is a combination of light and dark brown colors and blue-grey. Your doctor can also classify this under a wood lamp and dermatoscopy. There can be an improvement in your skin condition if it is treated.
How do you Cope with Melasma?
The skin condition can affect you both mentally and physically. However, you can do some ways to cope with Melasma if your treatment does not improve its appearance. You can use makeup to cover the areas where the skin condition occurs, wear sunscreen every day with SPF 30, take medications prescribed by your doctor, and wear a wide-brimmed hat that can protect your face from the sun.
Another tip is wearing protective clothing, especially if you know that you will have more exposure to the sun for a specific day.
We understand that Melasma can make you conscious of yourself. If it comes to a point where you do not want to socialize anymore because of your condition, come to your healthcare professional, and they can recommend you to support groups and counselors that you can talk to. They can also guide you in having healthy and stable mental health.
What is the Best Treatment for Melasma?
It is not guaranteed that all patients will respond well to it when it comes to melasma treatment. Some patients may have different responses compared to others. In some cases, Melasma tends to darken after the first treatment. Factors such as sufficient melanin in the affected area, the depth of the Melasma, and other factors will determine your treatment response. Nevertheless, recurrence is common for patients with Melasma regardless of the treatment you conduct.
Bid goodbye to those unsettling and self-conscious days and say hello to more confident ones when you start to contact the best medspa around the corner!