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what is melasma

Melasma is a common dermatological condition that affects many individuals, leading to the development of dark and discoloured patches on the face or other parts of the body. Although it can occur in both men and women, women are more prone to developing melasma patches, particularly those with darker skin tones. The condition can manifest itself during specific stages of the sufferer’s life, such as puberty or pregnancy, and can be emotionally distressing due to its appearance, which can be extremely challenging to conceal with cosmetics. When you’re ready to, why not book a skin consultation at our Norwich aesthetic clinic by clicking here.

Types of melasma

The condition can be categorised into three groups; Dermal, epidermal, and mixed. The category is determined by the level of excess pigmentation. The types are defined by their border definition, coloring, and pattern. Mixed is the most common of these.

Contributing factors for Melasma

Treatment options for melasma vary depending on the severity of the condition and the individual’s skin type. If you develop melasma will also depend if and when you are taking medications such as hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills. Some of the most effective melasma treatments include topical medications, chemical peels, and laser therapy. However, it is crucial to consult with a skin expert to first diagnose melasma, then go on to determine the best course of treatment for each individual’s skin conditions. As a rule, avoiding excessive sun exposure, wearing protective clothing, and regularly applying high SPF sunscreen can help prevent the development or worsening of the condition. Overall, while melasma can be challenging to manage, it is a manageable condition with the right treatment plan and preventative measures.

What Causes Melasma?

Experts suggest that the primary cause of this is a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. Melasma occurs due to an increase in melanin production, which is the pigment responsible for giving our skin its colour. This increase in melanin production can be triggered by a variety of factors including sun exposure, hormonal changes (particularly during pregnancy), certain medications, and even stress levels. Hormonal contraception has been known to stimulate melanocytes, which are pigment producing cells. In some cases, genetics also play a role in determining who develops melasma and who doesn’t.

The mask of pregnancy

You may have heard of this term. It is used to describe melasma that appears during pregnancy. Chloasma is another term that is used. The ‘mask’ refers to the common characteristics of melasma in pregnancy of dark patches that are typically found on the cheekbones, nose, and forehead. Other parts of the body may also be affected in pregnant women.

How Can You Treat Melasma?

Treating this skin concern typically involves avoiding triggers such as sun exposure and hormonal changes (if possible). A number of topical treatments are available over the counter or by prescription including creams containing hydroquinone, tretinoin, corticosteroids or azelaic acid. Chemical peels may also help improve the appearance of affected skin. In other cases, laser therapy may be recommended to reduce the discoloration caused by melasma. We have a wide range of therapies that can help.

Book a consultation with a skin specialist

Whilst the skin patches are not considered a severe health condition and have no physical symptoms, If you suffer from melasma there are several treatment options available ranging from topical creams to chemical peels or laser therapy – so don’t let this condition keep you from feeling confident about your skin! Talk to us about what treatment option might work best for you if you suffer from this condition.


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