What is Melasma?
❕AKA. ‘chloasma’, Melasma is a common skin condition, where brown or greyish patches of pigmentation (colour) develop, usually on the face.
They most commonly appear as small light or dark-brown coloured spots, that are flat and without any other symptoms with them.
𝙒𝙝𝙤 𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙨 𝙈𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙢𝙖?
🤰It is more common in women, especially during pregnancy and often starts between 20 to 40 years old.
Melasma is more common in people of colour and those who tan very quickly but can occur to people of all skin types.
𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙨 𝙞𝙩?
👩🔬The exact cause of melasma appears complex, but simply put, it is caused by the overproduction of skin pigment (melanin) by the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes). These are then taken up by skin cells (keratinocytes) or deposited deeper in our skin.
𝔽𝕒𝕔𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕤 𝕚𝕟𝕧𝕠𝕝𝕧𝕖𝕕 𝕚𝕟 𝕄𝕖𝕝𝕒𝕤𝕞𝕒:
🧬Genes: patients often report affected family members
☀️Sun exposure: Visible and UV light promote the development of pigmentation
💊Hormones: 1 in 4 cases of Melasma are in either pregnant patients or those on hormone based contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy
🛀Medications: Certain medications or toiletries can cause a skin reaction to trigger melasma
𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙈𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙢𝙖 𝙗𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙜𝙣𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙙?
👩⚕️Melasma can often be diagnosed on clinical appearance and a Wood lamp or dermatoscope can help to confirm this.
🥼Other conditions can often be mistaken for melasma, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, drug-induced hyperpigmentation and solar lentigos.
𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙈𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙢𝙖?
😎Life-long, regimented sun protection
🧴Topical treatments can help, you may need a prescription for these
🧖Chemical peels and lasers can help but must be used with caution in the hands of an experienced practitioner, otherwise they run the risk of worsening the condition
⏰Melasma can be difficult to treat, and it can take time to respond to treatment.
𝐇𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐦𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐦𝐚, 𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐤𝐢𝐧 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧?
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