Symptoms of Melasma

Have you ever found yourself surfing google to find out about the dark, discoloured patches on your skin? If yes then chances are you have found out that you have melasma. Now don’t you worry at all as this is a very common skin problem that causes blotchy patches of darker colour that commonly appear on your cheeks, forehead, nose, above the upper lip and sometimes on the chin. Other parts of the body that gets exposed to sun like forearms and neck can also be affected.

Melasma is a kind of facial pigmentation or rather the “mask of pregnancy” in pregnant women. This condition is also known as chloasma which literally means green skin. As this is not true the term melasma (brown skin) is usually used. Men can chill out as only 10% of them get it. This is more common in women than men although it is seen in people who tan well or have naturally brown skin. In majority of them it starts appearing in their mid-twenties or forties.


Exposure to sunlight

  • soaking in vitamin D is important but not for people with melasma as the ultra-violet rays from the sun do more harm to your skin than good. The UV rays results in the stimulation of melanocytes which could make matters worse. Even people who recovered still get pigmented when exposed to sunlight. 

Hormonal fluctuations

  • Women who take birth control pills and hormone replacement medicine should be more careful as oral contraceptive pills containing oestrogen and progesterone, intrauterine devices and implants can trigger discoloration.

Skin care products

  • Melasma can be worsened by using cosmetics and products that irritate your skin. 

Dermatologists recommend the following hacks for maintaining a clear skin tone.

  • Apply a good sunscreen daily: use a quality sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. You can apply it 15 minutes before you leave the house and reapply it every 2 hours as it dries off.
  • Wear a brimmed hat whenever you go out: using a sunscreen might not be enough sometimes. So try to seek shade and avoid the harmful UV rays and wear protective clothing in addition.
  • Waxing is not a good idea: it may cause skin inflammation which can worsen melasma. Try asking your dermatologist about other ways of hair removal that might be safe for you.

Also don’t forget to take care of yourself in these tough times.

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