Melasma is a condition that causes dark, discolored patches on the skin. These dark patches are the result of excessive melanin production in the skin cells. Discoloration associated with melasma often develops on the face, including the cheeks, the nose, the chin and the forehead; however, discoloration can appear on any part of the body. Though it is a fairly common affliction, people who suffer from it often feel self-conscious.
Understanding melasma, including the causes and risk factors, as well as finding out ways to treat it, can make coping with this condition easier.
Causes of Melasma
The truth is, researchers don’t really know what causes melasma; however, several studies have found it is often related to external sun exposure and hormone fluctuations. Most people who develop the condition expose their skin to the sun on a regular basis, or they have experienced sudden changes in hormone levels. Birth control pills, pregnancy and other medications that impact hormone levels often result in the development of this skin condition.
Who’s at Risk?
Melasma is most common in adults, and more specifically women. In fact, melasma is most common among pregnant women; however, anyone who excessively exposes their skin to the sun can develop it, as can anyone who experiences a change in hormone levels.
Certain skin types are also more likely to develop the condition than others. People with darker colored skin, including those with African, Asian, Middle Easter and Latin decent, are more prone to the condition. Why? – Because their bodies produce more melanin, which is responsible for darker skin colors, and as such, can cause their bodies to increase their already high levels of melanin production, which in turn, can result in the dark patches that are associated with this condition.
Treatments for Melasma
There are several treatments options that can reduce the appearance of the dark spots that are caused by melasma. The severity of the condition will determine which treatment options are the best.
In cases where the pigmentation is slight, home remedies may be effective. Lemon juice is one option, as the acidity of the fruit removes the outer layer of the discolored skin, thus eliminating the top layer of the dark patches. For this home remedy, simply squeeze the juice from a fresh lemon and apply it to the affected areas. Allow the juice to sit on the skin for 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water. Two treatments daily can yield results in about three weeks.
In more severe cases in which discolored patches are more noticeable, skincare products can be an effective solution. Products that are derived from natural ingredients will not only minimize the appearance of melasma, but will also nourish and balance the skin, restoring its natural glow. Skintrium, a well-regarded manufacturer of high-quality skincare products, offers a line of products that are specially formulated to minimize the hyperpigmentation that is associated with melasma, and results can be seen after just a few applications.
Though harmless, melasma can be a troubling condition for those who are afflicted with it. If you suffer from this skin condition, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone and that there are ways to reduce the appearance of those dark spots.