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What is melasma?

Melasma is a common skin condition that causes dark patches on the skin. The name comes from “melas”the greek word for black. The patches usually develop on the cheeks, forehead, nose. The skin does not become itchy or sore however. the cosmetic problem is very upsetting

Who gets melasma?

Melasma is common in


Darker skin tone

Living in sunny climates

After pregnancy

What causes melasma?

Exactly why melasma occur is not known

It likely occurs when a substance called melanin is formed in more quantities than usual it gives skin its natural color (melanin is produced in the skin by a special type of cell called melanocyte)

Common melasma causes include

  • Sun exposure: it increases the production of melanin. melasma is known to worsen in summer
  • Hormonal changes: Hormones increases melanin secretion called estrogen and progesterone.
    Therefore, melasma is common in pregnant women and women on birth control pills and hormone replacement medicine.

  • Other causes: Certain ingredients present in skincare products are linked with the worsening of melasma.

  • Stress is also reported to cause melasma.


how is melasma treated?

Treatment of melasma includes

skin lightening creams, lotions, gels, or liquid. Hydroquinone is a common first treatment for melasma. To enhance skin lightening, the dermatologist may prescribe a second medicine such as tretinoin, corticosteroid, azelaic acid or kojic acid.

Cleansers are also recommended as they help in speeding up the resolution of melasma. It helps remove superficial pigmented skin cells and increases penetration of skin lightening agents.

Procedures, such as chemical peel, microdermabrasion, and dermabrasion may also succeed.


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