GMA MELASMA TREATMENT

WHAT IS MELASMA?

Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation characterized by patches of skin discolouration, primarily on the face. Commonly affected areas on the face include the cheeks, nose bridge, chin, forehead, and around the mouth. Melasma may also appear on areas of the body that are frequently exposed to sun, such as the neck, chest and forearms. This skin condition is more common in women (especially skin types IV and higher) and is thought to be triggered by UV exposure and hormonal influences. The latter is what distinguishes melasma from traditional forms of hyperpigmentation and makes it more difficult to treat.

The most common causes of hormonal imbalance and thus melasma, are pregnancy and hormonal birth control (usually during the early stages of usage). During pregnancy, melanocytes may be activated and stimulated by abnormal levels of progesterone and estrogen. Hormonal imbalances cause these cells to produce extra levels of melanin, resulting in skin discolouration and uneven skin tone. In other words, pregnant women are more prone to hyperpigmentation and melasma and thus it becomes even more crucial to stay protected under the sun (wear SPF!) during pregnancy.

WHAT ARE MELASMA SYMPTOMS?

Melasma may affect the epidermis (top layer of skin), the dermis (second layer of skin) or both. Melasma of the epidermis tends to result in spots with a dark brown colour and a more well-defined border. Melasma of the dermis tends to cause spots that are more gray and lighter in colour, with a less defined border. If the melasma is affecting both the epidermis and dermis of the skin, there will be a combination of light and dark brown spots. Melasma of the epidermis is more superficial and tends to be easier to treat than melasma of the dermis. This is partially because the skin cells in the epidermis tend to be renewed more often. It is important to know the depth and type of pigment to determine the most effective treatment.

GMA MELASMA TREATMENT