Did you know that between 1.5 and 33 percent of the population might get melasma in their lifetime? If you are noticing funny patches on your skin and are wondering if you might have melasma, we are here to answer the question “what is melasma?” Our short guide will also give you some tips on the best solutions to help your skin.
Read on and learn the ins and outs of melasma.
What Is Melasma?
First things first, let’s clear up what melasma is. This is a skin condition that creates brown patches where the skin receives too much sun exposure. This is why facial melasma is very common because the average person does not wear sunscreen on their face every single day.
The good news is that melasma spots are not a permanent condition that you can’t get rid of. There are treatments and remedies that can help minimize melasma on the face or on the body.
Keep in mind that to truly diagnose the skin condition, it has to be done by either a dermatologist or a licensed medical practitioner. While you might feel that you have melasma, you want to double-check and receive a formal diagnosis from a medical professional.
The most common symptom is patching on the skin. These patches are normally brown, but they can sometimes also have a grayish tone. Usually, they develop on the nose, cheeks, upper lip, and forehead. Some people also develop them on their arms, shoulders, and neck.
On a few occasions, the patches might appear red and become inflamed.
There are a few products that can help fight melasma hyperpigmentation. Topical hydroquinone cream is typically the first treatment that a doctor prescribes. Sometimes this comes in the form of lotion or gel as an alternative.
Another go-to treatment is methimazole. Usually, this is prescribed when a patient is resistant to the effects of hydroquinone.
Doctors might also prescribe a triple combination cream that has a percentage of hydroquinone, tretinoin, and fluocinolone acetonide. This product is an example of this triple threat that you might get a prescription for.
When the melasma patches are not responding to creams or lotions there are alternatives. One of these alternatives is to do a chemical skin peel.
The most commonly used peels are either glycolic acid-based or salicylic acid-based. The purpose of the peel is to remove the top layer of the skin, in turn, reducing the dark shade of the patches.
Another alternative is having a licensed dermatologist or esthetician perform dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, or laser treatment over the patches. Please keep in mind that melasma can be stubborn, especially if you have the patches for a long period of time before treating them.
Feeling Like a Melasma Pro?
We hope that now that we answered the question “what is melasma?” and shared symptoms and treatments, you can make an informed decision on whether you should make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist.
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