Sunday, August 1

What is Melasma?



Melasma is a skin condition that is more common than you think especially if you live in a tropical country like the Philippines. Melasma shows up as brown or dark patches on the skin. This is a condition relatively common in females. The grayish-blue or brownish patches commonly appear on the face mostly near the lips and cheeks.

Sometimes neck patches also appear in this condition. They may appear as a single mega patch or a cluster of mini patches. This condition is relatively common for pregnant women, that is why it is sometimes referred to as a ‘Pregnancy Mask’.

Sometimes the severity of this condition fluctuates with respect to the seasonal conditions and mostly fades during winter or cold season. Study shows that the part of skin most likely to be exposed to the sun can have melasma, mostly the face (but may appear on forearms and neck too).



Types of Melasma:

Usually, it is divided into 3 types depending upon the depth of pigments and the color shades. This is diagnosed by a special device emitting UV light (blacklight) that is used to examine the skin under it.

Mixed Melasma: Most cases of melasma are of this type, in this type the patches of brown and bluish shade both appear and spread on the skin. This type doesn’t appear to be very intense in manner but shows up quite mildly.

Epidermal Melasma: This type is less common and most have dark brown spots in freckles formation with a usually solid border and not very serious in most cases (can fade away).

Dermal Melasma: This type has patches but with a shady or unclear boundary and can be easily distinguished under UV light.



Causes of Melasma:

Though it is not fully clear what actually causes this condition, experts have agreed upon a few facts about melasma.

This condition erupts when the melanocytes (color-causing cells) in the skin are more active due to some potential triggers. People with more pigmentation or darker colored skin are more likely to face this condition as compared to people with lighter skin tones.

Some potential triggers are cosmetic products, hormonal imbalance, and excessive exposure to sunlight.



Hyperpigmentation:

It is a medical condition usually in adults where dark patches of brown color appear on the skin and makes deposits in the skin cells. In this case, the color cell of the skin becomes hyperactive to form a particular color in excess, usually, it’s harmless.

It can exist on any part of the body (entire body). People with darker skin tones are more prone to this condition.



Difference between Hyperpigmentation and Melasma:

Mostly there is a loose comprehension regarding the relation of both of these conditions, so we are discussing some important points to distinguish them.

1. Hyperpigmentation can exist on any part of the body while Melasma is mostly on the face and neck.

2. Hyperpigmentation can occur in men and women, while melasma 90% occurs in females (mostly pregnant).

3. Both of them are triggered by sunlight exposure (mostly).

4. Melasma is a sub-category of Hyperpigmentation.



Melasma Treatment:

As for now, there is no permanent cure for this but there are now treatments used to reduce the spots and make them lighter so it is not noticeable or almost gone.

Dermatologists use Hydroquinone method carefully to treat this. Medical prescription is seriously required for this method.

Tretinoin and corticosteroids are the two creams that are also used to lighten the tone of skin as an alternative of Hydroquinone therapy depending upon your condition.

Laser therapy is also used to remove pigmentation but this can be costly.

Nowadays there are also oral supplements that can help lessen melanin production and significantly improve melasma. One of these is Pynocare. Pynocare contains a potent blend of ingredients that combats Melasma at its roots by fighting free radicals which damage the skin and by controlling the production of melanin which causes darkening and pigmentation. It contains Procyanidin (French Maritime Pine Bark Extract) which is a flavonoid, a super-antioxidant, and it has been found to protect the skin against Solar UV damage, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, and Natural Vitamin E in a unique ActisomeTM complex formulation which ensures enhanced absorption of the active ingredients.

Before taking any treatments or supplements, consult with your physician first so they can tell you which direction is going to be the most effective for your level of melasma. 










Take care! xx









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