Melasma is the occurrence of skin hyperpigmentation. It shows itself through flat patches that are brown, blue-gray, or tan in color and occurs in the area of the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, and the upper lip with predilection on these parts of the face. In general, the patches are on both cheeks but more visible on sun-exposed areas. Though it doesn’t affect one’s physical well-being, melasma can be very annoying, and this could heavily impact someone’s self-esteem.

Before After

Causes of Melasma

1. Sun Exposure

The main source of UV (ultraviolet) rays is the sun and it is the main reason for the melasma, the one that triggers it. When the UV light contacts melanocytes, they start to make even more pigment due to the overproduction of melanin.

2. Hormonal Changes

Estrogens and progesterone, in which the pregnancy hormone has a prevailing role, are preeminently responsible for the condition of melasma attack. It is connected to the so-called “mask of pregnancy” because most pregnant women experience it. Birth control such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy are also a cause of the situation.

3. Genetic Predisposition

Setting oneself up for melasma runs ahead in families, which makes them more prone to it. It is in your genetics that you should refer to as it is a significant contributing factor which implies that specific persons are more prone to melasma than others.

4. Skincare Products

There are some cosmetics at the drugstore, and skincare products that you should keep away from since they cause skin irritation, resulting in the blue-gray, a tan patch, or melasma. It is one of the issues that should be checked for using allergic products if you are predisposed to such a condition.

Treatments for Melasma

Even when melasma can be hard to get rid of, numerous options are available to calm the dark areas and to reduce the hyperpigmentation process.

1. Topical Treatments

The first step in the treatment of melasma is the use of topical drugs. These are the following:- 

Hydroquinone: It is a skin-lightening agent that lessens the production of melanin.Tretinoin and Corticosteroids: Commonly combined with hydroquinone to intensify its effects.Azelaic Acid: An option for people who are not able to use hydroquinone.

2. Chemical Peels

Chemical peels are a method that involves the application of a chemical solution to the skin, which peels off the dead layers. As a result, hyperpigmentation is decreased and skin texture is improved. Despite this, it needs to be executed by a specialist to eliminate threats.

3. Laser and Light Therapies

Regardless of the fact that lasers and IPL are both strong enough to target and destroy melanin in the skin, they are efficient methods of therapy. Multiple sessions are required with these methods but the work has to be performed only by experienced dermatologists who do not want to get into trouble with any unwanted side effects.

4. Microneedling

This technique creates micro-wounds on the skin by piercing it with very fine needles. Besides, collagen production and the skin’s coloring are being improved. The application of topical medications along with it is also common.

5. Oral Medications

Dermatologists also may recommend oral medications for melasma, for example, tranexamic acid. They usually work by blocking the process of melanin synthesis and in such cases, only oral medicines will be considered if topical ones have no effect.

Preventing Melasma

Treating melasma includes the right sort of sun protection and skincare routines.

1. Sun Protection

The most vital thing I can do is to safeguard my skin from the harmful UV radiation because I am a college student and I spend a lot of time outdoors playing basketball. This includes:

Using Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen: To protect yourself from harmful sunrays, you should apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day irrespective of whether it is cloudy or sunny.Wearing Protective Clothing: One of the many ways that you can protect yourself from the sun is to wear hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved clothing when you are outdoors.

2. Skincare Routine

Honestly, doing all these we just improve our health and our looks at the same time. So, the importance of a healthy diet combined with timed exercise cannot be overemphasized since the two go hand-in-hand. A simple facial regimen shields us from skin problems:

Gentle Cleansing: Use mild, non-irritating cleansers.Hydration: Budget some money for skincare and avoid spending such huge amounts on other things that can be done.

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