What is Melasma?
Melasma is one common skin problem that is more likely in women 25-50 years of age as compared to men. Popularly termed as “Skin hyperpigmentation,” Melasma forms patchy brown and gray skin discoloration typically around the forehead, bridges of the nose, cheeks, chin and upper lips.
Besides these, the skin areas that are excessively exposed to the sunlight are also suspected to Melasma. It is called chloasma or “mask of pregnancy” when occurs in pregnant women.
What Causes Melasma?
It happens when the skin’s color-making cells produce excessive color. People with dark skin get it easily because of more active melanocytes. However, skin experts believe that the problem starts because of the following:
Over-Exposure to Sun
At the same time when sunlight is important for our skin, excessive exposure to the sun, especially in the summer season when the sun is most intense, can cause weird personality-destroying patches on the skin. It happens because the ultraviolet rays of the sun activate the melanocytes stimulation leading to skin discoloration.
Mums-to-be easily gets blotchy areas of dark skin. The condition can be attributed to excessive hormonal changes in the body. Besides these, hormonal therapy, genetic predisposition, menopause, birth control pills are also a culprit.
Low-quality skin care products speed up the melanin production that further accelerates the symptoms of hyperpigmentation.
How to Diagnose Melasma?
Dermatologists diagnose the problem by analyzing the characteristics and distribution of pigmentation of the skin. The most common melasma diagnose method Wood’s Lamp examination is performed in a dark area projecting a beam on the affected skin areas. Occasionally, doctors can ask for your skin sample and test it under the microscope.
Is Melasma Treatment Possible?
To be honest, melasma is very difficult skin condition to treat completely. However, some preventive measures and medical as well as home-based treatments are available to fade the patches and improve your appearance.
Because the sun is thought to be the biggest culprit, sun-protection and sun-avoidance will help. It’s true we cannot avoid it fully. Cover your face with a soft cotton cloth if you need to stay in the sun for longer.
Body Whitening Creams
Hydroquinone is one of the chemicals that abates the activity of skin cells from forming pigmentation. Azelaic acid and retinoid creams can also help melasma.
Cysteamine skin whitening cream is comparatively more effective than the others. Because of its fast results, it has been in use for decades.
All these chemicals creams may cause irritation, so make sure you don’t apply any for longer. Since these are not suitable for all, make sure you use body whitening creams only with doctors’ prescription only.
In the chemical or Melasma Peel treatment, the outermost cells of the skin that contain excess melanin are flayed off. If you opt for this treatment, choose an experience and endorsed dermatologist because poorly performed treatment can worsen the hyperpigmentation making skin too light and full of scars.
Laser treatment also triggers the outer skin, whereas other in-office treatments treat pigment-producing cells. Do a thorough research and talk to someone who already underwent any of these treatments.
Home Remedies for Hyperpigmentation Treatment
If you are doubtful about store-bought creams and medical procedures, you can try some handy ingredients from your kitchen pantry or refrigerator. The best thing about these organic ingredients is that they are cheap and have no side-effect.
Due to its natural astringent properties and acidic nature, lemon naturally peels off the outer skin layer when applied on the hyperpigmented area.
Just apply fresh juice of a lemon on the affected area, rub for two minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water after 20 minutes. Repeat it daily and notice the improvement in 3-4 weeks.
Organic Aloe Vera Gel
The mucilaginous Polysaccharide is the substance that makes Aloe Vera alleviate the discoloration and restore the natural skin color.
Apply aloe gel daily for 20 minutes to help melasma.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The raw enzymes, acetic acid and skin-friendly bacteria found in apple cider vinegar make it an excellent skin agent against melasma. Dilute the vinegar and water in 1:1 proportion and apply on the affected areas daily.
Horseradish is packed with natural vitamin C and mustard oil, which together helps in hyperpigmentation treatment. Apply the crushed horseradish on affected are for 30 minutes daily until the ugly skin discoloration spots fade away.
Besides these four popular ingredients, you can also try turmeric, oatmeal, ground almond, onion juice, papaya, sandalwood and Gotu Kola in the same manner for melasma treatment.
Keeping it simple, I would say I am a simple whacky kid :) whose mind is always open to learn more and more in this expanding universe. Another quality that I possess is- Even when the house is on fire, I try to keep a cool head. I have the right mix of education, creativity, organisational [...]