Monday, March 23, 2015

Melasma treatment

Majority of people can’t avoid exposing themselves to the sun especially those whose jobs require them to be always on the road. But what some people don’t realize is that excessive sun exposure can lead to the occurrence of melasma in the skin, particularly in the face.

Melasma is a skin condition characterized by patchy brown, tan or blue-gray discoloration, which commonly appears in the forehead, chin, upper cheeks and upper lip.

Melasma commonly affects olive or darker skinned women between 20 to 50 years old, especially those who have Asian and Hispanic origins.

But melasma can also be caused by hormonal changes among pregnant women and intake of external hormones like birth control pills.

Pregnant women who have melasma don’t need to worry because the condition would fade away naturally after the woman gives birth. Those that are caused by birth control pills would also fade away once the woman stops taking the pills.

The type of melasma that is caused by overexposure to the sun doesn’t usually fade naturally and may cause extreme discomfort. 

However, there are available medicines and skin treatments that women with melasma can use to treat the condition. Some of these medicines can be bought without prescription.

Skin care products that come in the form of a gel, lotion, liquid or cream that contain hydroquinone are commonly recommended by dermatologists. This ingredient is found to be effective in lightening the skin.

Aside from hydroquinone, products that contain Tretinoin and Corticosteroids can also be used to treat melasma. These products work to enhance lightening of the skin.

Dermatologists may prescribe creams that contain both hydroquinone, Tretinoin and Corticosteroid for an effective skin lightening action, especially for stubborn melasma.

There are also available topical medicines prescribed by dermatologists to treat melasma that contain azelaic acid or kojic acid. These products lighten the skin that has become darker due to melasma.

But there are types of melasma that don’t easily fade away even after weeks of using. For these types of melasma, dermatologists often do procedures such as chemical peel, dermabrasion or microdermabrasion of the affected skin.

Patients who were treated for melasma are advised to watch signs of side effects, particularly skin irritation and further darkening of the skin.

As they say, “prevention is better than cure,” so it is best to do something to prevent getting melasma.

Since the most common cause of melasma is overexposure to the sun, people, particularly women, should avoid staying under the sun for long periods of time to prevent getting melasma. 

If sun exposure cannot be avoided, dermatologists recommend using sunscreen products that have SPF 15 or higher.

Regular wearing of hats with wide brims that can cover the face is also recommended.

While undergoing treatment, patients with melasma are also advised to use sunscreen upon going out of the house and strictly follow the recommended maintenance therapy to prevent melasma from recurring.

Melasma is a kind of skin condition that won’t easily fade away but patients who have this should not lose hope. With constant and regular treatment, it would eventually fade after a few months of Melasma treatment.

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