What is that?
Melasma is classified as a pigmentation skin disease. It is a dysregulation of skin pigmentation, producing pigment in excess.
Often on the cheeks, around the mouth, forehead, nasal sides, mandibular angle and temples. It can come in an irregular shape and forms a butterfly pattern. While it happens in both men and women, it’s usually seen in young and middle-aged women.
It may be related to endocrine system problems, exposure to sunshine, hereditary factors, liver disease, tuberculosis, tumour and drugs.
It’s also closely related to spirit factors such as fatigue, and insufficient rest, obesity, mental stress and psychic trauma, all of which deepen melanin production.
If it was caused due to hormonal changes, then perhaps after discontinuation of birth control pills or the delivery of a baby, the melasma should fade.
How long it last?
Usually last for years or even stay for the rest of their lives.
A person may seek treatments in order to fade the patches.
Hydroquinone is the first line of treatment that may be prescribed by your doctor. (It has been banned in many countries due to some evidence that it may act as a carcinogen in rodents.)
Corticosteroids and tretinoin help to lighten the colour of melasma patches.
Azelaic or Kojic Acids come from natural sources and helps lighten the dark patchy skin.
Supplementation with Vit C Ascorbic acid is an inhibitor of melanogenesis through its antioxidant effects.
Chemical peels to a topical treatment regimen help accelerate the elimination of pathways for melanin. Superficial peels tend to have the least risk of complications of pigmentation.
Laser and light therapy may be particularly beneficial for patients with melasma. Combining with chemical peels, Laser accelerates the removal of pathways for melanin, speeding up the removal of melasma-related hyperpigmentation, however, It doesn’t cure Melasma.
Intense pulsed light - IPL therapy uses a flash lamp light source that emits non-coherent light and has been used to treat various pigmentary disorders. It uses a spectrum of wavelengths that target both epidermal and dermal melasma simultaneously.
Results take time, however, they may reappear on exposure to summer sun and because of hormonal and endogenous factors.