Melasma- Other Treatment
Melasma can be due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or from sun exposure. Women are much more likely than men to develop this condition. The brown or grey-brown patches of melasma appear most often on the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin.
In women, melasma often fades on its own after pregnancy or after an affected woman stops taking contraceptive pills. Skin lightening creams can help lasting melasma.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What are the causes and risk factors of melasma?
It isn’t totally clear what causes melasma. Darker-skinned individuals are more at risk than those with fair skin. Estrogen and progesterone sensitivity are also associated with the condition. This means birth control pills, pregnancy, and hormone therapy can all trigger melasma. Stress and thyroid disease are also thought to be causes of melasma. Additionally, sun exposure can cause melasma because ultraviolet rays affect the cells that control pigment (melanocytes).
- How is melasma diagnosed?
A visual exam of the affected area is often enough to diagnose melasma. To rule out specific causes, your healthcare professional might also perform some tests. One testing technique is a Wood’s lamp examination. This is a special kind of light that’s held up to your skin. It allows your healthcare professional to check for bacterial and fungal infections and determine how many layers of skin the melasma affects. To check for any serious skin conditions, they might also perform a biopsy. This involves removing a small piece of the affected skin for testing.
- Is melasma treatable?
For some women, melasma disappears on its own. This typically occurs when it’s caused by pregnancy or birth control pills. There are creams your healthcare professional can prescribe that can lighten the skin. They might also prescribe topical depigmenting cream is given to help lighten the affected areas. If these don’t work, chemical peels, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion are possible options. These treatments strip away the top layers of skin and may help lighten dark patches.
- Can melasma turn into cancer?
Melasma usually becomes more noticeable in the summer and improves during the winter months. It is not an infection; therefore, it is not contagious, and it is not due to an allergy. It is not cancerous and will not develop into skin cancer.