Melasma is a skin problem that is quite common. It results in the formation of brown to gray-brown patches on the surface of the face. Most people will develop these patches on their forehead, cheeks, chin, above their upper lip and on the bridge of their nose. It also occur on other parts of the body that are regularly exposed to the sun like the neck or forearm.
Although it is possible, it is very uncommon on males. It is directly related to exposure to the sun and external hormones like birth control hormones and internal changes in hormones like pregnancy. Most individuals that have melisma have a history of exposure to the sun daily. When it comes to this condition, prevention is mainly aimed at protection of the skin and avoiding the sun.
Treatment is however, more complex. It will entail regular application of sunscreen and undergoing medication. The condition is first diagnosed by a medical doctor. It is mainly diagnosed by looking at ones skin. So as to see how deeply the melasma has penetrated the skin, the dermatologist might look at your skin using a device known as a Wood’s light. It might look like another skin condition and this is ruled out your dermatologist will have to remove a small bit of skin and perform a biopsy.
Melasma may fade on its own. This will often happen when it a trigger that is causing the melasma like pregnancy or birth control pills. When the mother delivers a baby or stops taking the birth control pills then the melasma might fade. Some people may however have melasma for years or even for the extent of their lifetime. It will also not go away if a woman wants to keep on taking birth control pills.
There are other forms of melasma treatment available. One of them hydroquinone. It is a common first treatment for melasma. This a treatment form that works by lightening the skin. It may come as a gel, liquid, lotion or cream. You may get access to this form of melasma treatment without a prescription.
If typical forms of medicine do not get rid of your melasma, you might have to go through a procedure. Some of these procedures may include a chemical peel, dermabrasion or microdermabration. These procedures should only be performed by a dermatologist. This is because if it is not performed by the right skin specialist, new skin problems may occur.