Facial melasma is a common skin condition that affects the skin of the face. Women get this condition far more often than men, and it causes discoloration of the skin mostly on the face. The areas most affected by facial melasma are the cheeks, the forehead and the nose, while the upper lip and chin are also commonly affected. These are basically the areas most often exposed to the sun.
What Is Facial Melasma?
Facial melasma is not a dangerous condition, it only causes skin discoloration with no other symptoms are negative health effects. The biggest concern is cosmetic appearance as many women are self conscious of the discoloration. Facial melasma is very common during pregnancy as it is associated with estrogen and progesterone production; sometimes it is referred to as chloasma or “the mask of pregnancy” when it happens during this time. Not only is facial melasma often seen during pregnancy, but also when women are taking birth control pills or if they take hormone replacement therapy during menopause.
Sun exposure does contribute to facial melasma, and sunscreen is important in preventing it or keeping it from getting worse. Zinc oxide and titanium oxide are helpful in any type of sunscreen for preventing damage to the skin including facial melasma. This condition is seen more often in warmer climates and on people with brownish skin tones. Chances are higher of developing it if someone in the family has had melasma or chloasma.
Common treatments for facial melasma are creams that contain certain ingredients shown to decrease the discoloration, like tretinoin, kojic acid and azelaic acid. Topical melasma creams containing steroids are sometimes prescribed, and some patients choose chemical peels. Laser treatments are sometimes performed with more severe cases. It is important to have facial melasma diagnosed before treatment, and usually this is done just by being seen by a dermatologist who can often tell by looking at the skin. In some cases, a biopsy is necessary to rule out any other skin conditions which may be more dangerous. Not only is diagnosis important of facial melasma, but any treatment should be prescribed and/or performed by a credible dermatologist. The wrong skin care could make the facial melasma worse instead of better.
As facial melasma is not a dangerous skin disorder, many patients leave the condition untreated. It often goes away after pregnancy or when birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy are no longer taken, though it may take a few months to be gone completely. It can come back with multiple pregnancies. There are many websites to learn about facial melasma, and a doctor is important in treating it. The good news is that facial melasma is not a dangerous condition, and even if left untreated, it usually will go away over time.
If you want to remove your melasma there are skin brightening creams that can be purchased over the counter. One of the most effective of these creams is SkinBright from Premium Naturals. Skinbright combines advanced levels of alpha arbutin and kojic acid, in addition to other skin lightening ingredients and natural moisturizers. Skinbright for facial melasma can be found on their website here.