Melasma is a skin condition that affects many people, a term that loosely translates to "black spot," and it's characterized by light brown, dark brown, and/or blue-grey areas on the skin. Flat patches or freckle-like markings are common. Melasma on face is very much common, especially the cheekbones, upper lip, and forehead, as well as the forearms. Melasma darkens and lightens with the seasons, with summers being the worst and winters being the best. 

Melasma is also known as chloasma, which is a less frequent term. Despite the fact that this illness is absolutely innocuous, it can cause some people to feel self-conscious. 

Where Melasma Occurs 

Melasma is a skin condition that is commonly located on the face due to sun exposure, which is why the majority of patients with melasma observe that their symptoms intensify in the summer. But basically, if there is melasma on face, then melasma can also be most typically found on the cheekbones, nose, chin, upper lip, and forehead.  

Melasma is a frequent skin condition, particularly among pregnant women, around 15% to 20%. Meanwhile, this skin condition affects between 1.5 percent and 33 percent of the population, and it occurs more frequently during a woman's reproductive years and seldom during adolescence. This happens generally between the ages of 20 and 40. 

Why Skin Darkens 

There are three layers to your skin. The epidermis is the outermost layer, the dermis is the intermediate layer, and the subcutis is the deepest layer. Your skin which is the biggest organ in your body accounts for around one-seventh of your total body weight and serves as a barrier between you and the outside world. It defends your bones, muscles, organs, and other body parts from the cold, pathogens, sunlight, dampness, harmful chemicals, injuries, and more. It also aids in the regulation of body temperature, the prevention of dehydration, and the perception of feelings such as the warmth of the stove, the fur on your dog's belly, and the pressure of another person's palm on yours. 

Melanocytes are cells in your epidermis that store and create melanin, which is a dark pigment. Melanocytes create more melanin in reaction to light, heat, UV radiation, or hormone stimulation, which is why your skin darkens. 

Preventing Melasma 

While medication will not cure all cases of melasma, there are things you can do to keep the illness from worsening and to reduce the look of the discoloration. These are some of them: 

  • Using sunscreen with SPF30 every day 

  • Taking prescribed medication 

  • Using makeup to cover discoloration 

  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat that protects yourself from the UV effects of the sun 

If you'll be in the sun for a lengthy amount of time, wearing protective clothes is very crucial. 

Consult your healthcare practitioner about local support groups or counselors if you're self-conscious about your melasma. Meeting other individuals who have the same illness or talking to someone about it might help you feel better. 

Having melasma on face is not a life and death sentence. There is treatment and prevention. Whenever you feel uncomfortable about your melasma, you can always talk to your doctor about it.  

Get dive deep discoveries about melasma here.

Article Reviewed by Dr. Zharlah G. Flores, MD, FPDS