Melasma or Chloasma

Introduction to Melasma

Melasma is a common patchy brown tan or blue-gray facial skin discoloration, usually seen in women and in a few men in the reproductive years due to color change of pigment in the skin. 

It is a type of hyperpigmentation, brown spots on face, that typically appears on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin of women 20-50 years of age. Melasma in men is a little less common. 

Hyperpigmentation on face is thought to be primarily related to sun exposure and hormones like birth control pills and hormonal changes as seen in pregnancy, commonly called as Chloasma Gravidarum. This is what separates it from usual hyper-pigmentation which is not associated with hormones eg. post inflammatory hyperpigmentation .

Although Melasma treatment is difficult, a lot can be done to reduce the pigmentation and improve the color.

Book a consultation and discuss your condition in detail.  

Factors affecting and exacerbating Melasma 

The exact cause of melasma is not known, but a few factors have been found to affect and even exacerbate the condition. Darkened skin color in melasma does not cause any harm but definitely it is not appreciated aesthetically

Sun Exposure (U.V. light) : Foremost reason for Melasma is exposure to sunlight. It is very good idea to protect oneself from Direct as well as indirect sunlight by using sunscreen and protective measures.

Hormones :  Female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) sensitivity exacerbate and maintain Melasma. This is exactly what makes it difficult to treat because not much can be done for the hormonal influence.  

Pregnancy : It is a state of exaggerated hormonal levels which result in more than usual pigmentation. Usually pigmentation in pregnancy resolves on its own but you may require hyperpigmentation treatment afterwards.

External Hormonal Therapy : Many conditions require treatment with external hormonal therapy and can cause hyperpigmentation . You will have to consult your physician for the same whether treatment can be stopped. 

Genetic Makeup : Melasma is more common in persons of darker skin types. It may also run in families and a prior knowledge of susceptibility can help you employ preventive measures before hand.

Sun protection is the main stay of treatment for Melasma. Once the pigmentation has settled in, Chemical Peel, Lasers and Light Therapy are used to remove pigmentation.

Treatments Available for Melasma

Medical Treatment

The main stay of treatment for Melasma is sun protection. 

Proper use of Sunscreen and techniques to limit sunlight exposure by avoiding direct sunlight using umbrellas etc. is the most important step. Improving skin condition and repairing damaged skin by use of medical treatment is also essential.

Various melasma home remedies like melasma cream, melasma peel, ointment or face wash for melasma are marketed. All have side effects, sometimes irreparable, unless used judicially.

Visit our clinic and discuss your condition in detail. Let us analyze your face and provide you with the best treatment plan. 

Lasers and Light Therapy

Lasers are highly concentrated beams of light which carry light energy to the target tissue. 

The mechanism of Lasers is easy to understand. Just like a piece of paper absorbs sunlight and heats up according to its color, various pigments present in the skin absorb laser light selectively. ...

Chemical Peel

A Chemical Peel treatment is a process to improve the appearance of skin of face, neck and hands by applying a chemical solution to remove the outer damaged skin revealing a new skin layer with improved tone, texture, and color. A chemical peel enhances and smooths the texture of the skin. It is an effective treatment for facial blemishes, wrinkles, and uneven skin pigmentation. ...