What Is Melasma And How Is It Treated?
If you are unfamiliar with the medical term “melasma,” you may want to start researching it immediately. Almost everyone is plagued with the condition at some point in his or her life. If you are not prepared, it could very well be a major shock to your system. Melasma is a medical condition that causes discolored patches to form on the skin, including the face, neck, forearms and chest. This common skin condition can result in low self-esteem, leaving the victim feeling embarrassed and vulnerable.
As mentioned above melisma causes patches of discoloration to form on the forehead, cheeks, bridge of the nose and chin. These are the most visible areas of your body, so it is crucial that they look perfect at all times. However, this is not possible for melisma patients, because the discoloration is so visible.
The dark patches are most symmetrical, which means they will appear equally on both sides of the face. While this condition does cause self-esteem issues, it is not linked to harmful complications, such as skin cancer.
What Causes Melasma?
The most common cause of melasma is prolonged exposure to the sun. This is why the most commonly affected areas are the face, neck and forearms. These areas are always going to be exposed to the sun, especially during warm weather. The ultraviolet rays affect the melanocytes, cells that control pigment, leading to the dark patches.
Melasma has also been linked to pregnancy, birth control pills and hormone therapy. Some medical experts believe that the skin condition is triggered by thyroid disease and stress, but there are not enough scientific facts to back this up.
How Is Melasma Diagnosed?
Before you can even begin thinking about a melasma cure, you must first have your condition diagnosed. To diagnose this condition, a dermatologist or primary care physician must conduct a visual exam. The healthcare professional will exam your skin, utilizing the Wood’s lamp technique. This light allows the physician to detect fungal and bacterial infections hidden in the layers of the skin.
Some physicians may also recommend a skin biopsy to rule out cancer or other serious skin conditions. This procedure can be completed in the physician’s office and does not require any special preparation. In fact, the physician can remove the sample the same day, if you agree to undergo the procedure.
If you have any concerns or questions about the techniques and procedures utilized in the diagnosis of melasma, be sure to speak with a healthcare professional. However, it is important to only choose a physician that specializes in the condition. If you choose a physician who is not familiar with melasma, you will risk an improper diagnosis and unnecessary testing.
The diagnosis will come with a list of treatment options. Do not rush to a decision, because some recommendations may not be necessary. For instance, a biopsy is optional and could lead to other problems.
Melasma Treatment Options
Is there a cure for Melasma? The answer is yes. There are tons of ways to treat this problem. In order to find out what is going to work best for you, it is absolutely pertinent to speak with a doctor. Discuss your problem with your doctor and allow them to perform an exam on you. Generally, the exam will use a Wood’s lamp and it will help pinpoint the best treatment for your unique situation. There is a possibility that your doctor will provide you with an oral medicine. There are also creams that work exceptionally well.
Chemical peels, steroid creams and laser treatment may also be effective options. If the doctor determines that hormone medicine is the root of the problem, they may recommend that you stop taking it. Again, consult with your doctor to find out what works best for you! Also, remember that a good prevention is the best way to avoid the problem all together.