Melasma is a common skin condition. The result of hyper-pigmentation, it causes dark spots on the skin. Though discoloration can appear on any part of the skin, it is most commonly seen on the face, including the cheeks, the bridge of the nose, the forehead and above the upper lip.
Melasma and Fair Skin
Traditionally, people with dark skin tones are more affected by melasma. The hyper-pigmentation that occurs is the result of excess melanin production, and because darker skin tones naturally produce more melanin, these skin types are more likely to develop melasma.
People with fair skin types can also be impacted by melasma. Because of the lighter color of the skin, the dark patches are much more visible on fair skin than they are on dark skin.
Though scientists don’t exactly know what causes melasma, there are certain factors that contribute to the development of the condition. These factors include:
- Repeated exposure to the sun
- Increased hormone levels; melasma is common in pregnant women, in people who take hormone-based medications, such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapies
- The ingredients in certain topical medications and skincare products
Treatment for Melasma in Fair Skin
The dark spots associated with melasma tend to fade on their own, especially when a certain trigger that is causing it ends; the completion of pregnancy or discontinuing the use of a contraceptive, for example.
For those who don’t want to wait it out, there are several treatment options that can help to minimize the appearance of dark spots caused by melasma. These treatments include:
- Hydroquinone. This medication lightens the skin. It is available in various forms, including creams, lotions, gels and liquids. It can be purchased over-the-counter, or a higher strength can be prescribed by a doctor.
- Corticosteroids. This is another topical medication that lightens the skin. It is often combined with hydroquinone and enhances the process of lightening the dark spots.
- Natural remedies. Several natural remedies can reduce the appearance of dark spots. The ascorbic acid in lemon juice, for example, removes the outer most layer of darkened skin patches, thus minimizing the appearance of melasma.
Skincare products. There are several skincare products that are specially formulated to lighten the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots. Skintrium’s Skin Soho Facial Lightening Parfait, for example, is an excellent skincare product for treating melasma. Comprised of natural fruit and bark extracts, including lemon and white ginger, and a variety of other brightening agents, this product can yield results after just a few uses.
While many treatment options can lighten the dark spots associated with melasma, none of them provide permanent results. The dark spots can reappear.
In order to avoid melasma, it’s important to take preventative measures.
- Because the UV rays of the sun are a big melasma trigger, applying sunscreen is paramount for preventing the development of dark spots. A broad-spectrum product with an SPF of 30 or higher will provide the best protection.
- Shielding the skin from the sun will also prevent the development of dark spots. Wearing long sleeves and pants, as well as large-brimmed hats, will protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
- Use products that are gentle on the skin. Harsh products can irritate the skin and exacerbate the dark spots.
Fair skin types can be certainly be impacted by melasma, but exercising these treatment and preventative measures can help to reduce the appearance of dark spots, or prevent them from developing.