Everybody wants to have glowing flawless skin. Unfortunately, this dream is marred for many by the numerous skin conditions that constantly dog people. One such condition is melasma, which is also known as hyperpigmentation. The condition is characterized by patches of brown appearing on the skin, especially on the face. Although the condition is relatively harmless on its own, it can gradually chip away at a person’s self-esteem, and be a source of constant self-consciousness. The good news is that in many cases, Melasma can be gotten rid of, or at least kept under control. This article seeks to expound on the causes of melasma, how to get rid of melasma, how to treat the condition and ultimately how to prevent it.
What causes Melasma?
Melasma occurs when there is an uneven distribution of the skin coloring pigment, melanin. It often affects the following parts:
– Bridge of nose
– Upper lips
There are no conclusive explanations for why this abnormal distribution of melanin occurs, although several theories have been put forward to try and explain the condition. Some say that the condition can be brought about by pregnancy, as it is rather common in pregnant women. The hormonal imbalance that occurs during pregnancy could be the reason why the melanin gets distributed unevenly. Unsurprisingly therefore, the condition is much more common in women than it is in men, although both sexes are in danger of getting it. Other causes of melasma include the following:
- Genetic predisposal.
- Exposure to harmful UV rays.
- Lack of vitamin D in the skin.
- Hormone replacement therapy.
- Excessive use of birth control pills.
- Thyroid disease.
- Allergic reaction to a cosmetic product.
Treatment options for MelasmaIf
you suspect that you have the condition, then it is wisest to consult your doctor soonest possible. Usually, there is no need for testing of any kind, since the condition is rather self- evident. However, the doctor may need to carry out tests and biopsies to determine whether you are having any other skin problems. Sometimes, the condition may go away on its own, particularly if it is caused by overuse of birth control pills or by pregnancy. Generally, melasma is treated using either creams or other medical procedures.
1. Use of creams
The doctor may prescribe the use of creams on the affected area. The creams work to lighten the patches on the skin, thus making them less conspicuous. Sometimes, the doctor may also prescribe steroids to achieve the same effect.
2. Medical procedures
Depending on the intensity of the condition, sometimes the dermatologist may decide to strip off the affected layers of skin. The most common procedures include microabrasion, chemical peeling and dermabrasion.
Natural treatment for Melasma
There are also some home remedies that are very effective in getting rid of melasma. These include the use of spices and fruits that are known to be very helpful to the skin such as the good old turmeric and lemon.
There is probably no other fruit that is half as versatile as a lemon. In addition to the long list of health benefits that this citrus fruit is laden with, it also does a commendable job of wiping off the undesirable patches of dark skin on your face. Lemon juice is bleach that naturally peels off the blemishes on your skin, leaving it glowing and radiant. All you need to do is to apply some lemon juice on the affected area, and massage the area for about two minutes. Leave the juice in for twenty or so minutes, then rinse if off with lukewarm water. Do this twice every day, for about three weeks, and watch your skin improve a great deal.
2. Turmeric powder
This powder is highly potent in clearing not only the melasma patches but also other skin conditions such as acne and pimples. Turmeric powder contains a substance known as curcumin, which is a strong anti- oxidant that lightens the skin, thus reducing the intensity of the pigmentation. Make a paste of 5 tablespoons of turmeric powder and ten tablespoons of milk. You can add a little flour to thicken the paste. Then apply the paste on the affected area and leave it to dry completely. Then rinse the skin with warm water. Do this every day in order to see great results.
Prevention of melisma
There are certain things that you can do in order to reduce the risk of getting melasma. One is protecting your skin from exposure to the harmful sunrays either by use of sun screen or protective clothing such as wide- brimmed hats. Additionally, if melasma occurs as an allergic reaction to a cosmetic product, then avoid using the product by all means.
Although melasma can significantly detract from your self-esteem, taking some action can help keep the condition at bay. If you are lucky, the condition may even go away all on its own, so do not worry too much.