- The term melasma comes from the Greek word “melas” which means black.
- It is a kind of hyperpigmentation of the skin, especially affecting areas like chin, cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lips, forearms and the neck, i.e areas of the body which are over exposed to sunlight.
- In pregnant women, melasma is termed as chloasma (meaning green skin) or the ‘mask of pregnancy’.
- The chances of pregnant women getting melasma are quite high as this condition is triggered by a major hormonal imbalance in the body.
- Melasma is characterised by the appearance of symmetrical dark or grey patches of discolouration, namely in the face.
- People who have dark coloured skin are the ones most affected by this disorder than other people.
- Melasma of the pregnancy are found to be cleared after delivering the baby although in some cases it can be pretty obstinate.
- This disorder of the skin is caused when the melanocytes manufacture too much colour in response to the body’s defence mechanism to protect the body from the penetrating UV rays.
- Moreover it is also caused by genetic factors, hormonal fluctuations and as a reaction to medications.
- People with thyroid issues were also gravely affected.
- Traditionally melasma can be classified into three based on the depth of the patches as epidermal, dermal and mixed melasma.
- During summers this condition can become quite extreme.
In order to protect your skin from melasma it is highly recommended you take the following tips and measures:
- SUNSCREEN MUST BE YOUR PRIORITY: Apply it on all the exposed areas of your skin before leaving the house and reapply it as it dries off.
- WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: it is often best to wear full sleeves and a wide vacation hat as a veil from the scorching sun.
- USE MILD HERBAL SKIN CARE PRODUCTS: products that contain lots of chemicals can trigger melasma. So stay away from it.
- WAXING IS A STRICT NO: waxing results in skin inflammation which can be fatal. Try asking your dermatologists about safer ways of hair removal.Dermatologists examine skin under a simple device called wood’s lamp to find the location of the pigmentation and sometimes a skin biopsy.
- Treatment of melasma is still a challenge as different skin types respond to treatments in different ways.
- Several people have seen promising results although it takes some time for it to respond to the treatment.