Causes and Home Remedies to Prevent Melasma

Melasma is a term for the patchy discoloration of the skin, usually found on the face. It is also called chloasma faciei and as the Mask of Pregnancy.

  • Despite its association to pregnancy, the condition can affect women who aren’t.
  • It can also be found in women who take oral contraceptive pills.
  • The condition can also be found in individuals who have certain ancestries including those of Native American descent.
  • The condition is diagnosed visually with a Wood’s Lamp together with the medical history

What are the Causes of Melasma

  • The exact cause of the condition is not known, but it is believed to have a connection with estrogen and its stimulation of estrogen and progesterone.
  • Thyroid problems also seem to increase the incidence of melasma in patients because of the over stimulation of the melanocyte stimulating hormone.
  • Genetics also plays a part in the occurrence of melasma
  • The condition may also be, although rarely, caused by an allergic reaction to cosmetics and medication.
  • A certain type of melasma – Melasma Suprarenale – may be brought on by Addison’s Disease. It is characterized by darkening even with just slight pressure.

Melasma Symptoms

  • Dark discolored patches found on the skin of the face, on the cheek, on the nose, or on the lips.
  • The discoloration can develop gradually.
  • There are no other symptoms other than the skin discoloration.

How to Prevent Melasma

  • Prevention is going to involve protecting the skin from sun exposure
  • Using SPF on the skin or using a hat when out in the daylight can help prevent melasma from appearing.
  • Avoiding trauma to the skin is also necessary when preventing the condition.

Home Remedies to Treat Melasma

  • In pregnancy related melasma, the spots usually go away within months after giving birth. The same thing goes when the use of birth control is stopped.
  • If it is not associated with pregnancy or birth control, the symptoms will go away when the underlying problem is addressed.

There are also a number of treatments that can help to hasten the lightening of the melasma. Before using these treatments, it is important to ask permission from a doctor as it can cause birth defects and problems for breastfeeding women.

  • Tretinoin and other chemical peels – increases the cell turnover of the skin. This is a derivative of Vitamin A.
  • Laser Treatment – helps peel off the dark skin discoloration
  • Lemon Juice – applied to the skin, it helps lighten spots.
  • Castor Oil – can remove the spots
  • Hydrogen peroxide

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