January 12, 2012

What is Malasma?

Melasma:  Frequently Asked Questions

What is Melasma?
Melasma is a dark skin discoloration found on sun-exposed areas of the face.  Melasma is a very common skin disorder. Though it can affect anyone, young women with brownish skin tones are at greatest risk.  Melasma is a chronic recurrent condition that can be controlled but not cured. 
Melasma is often associated with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. It is especially common in pregnant women, women who are taking oral contraceptives ("the pill"), and women taking hormone replacement therapy during menopause. 
Sun exposure is also a strong risk factor for melasma. It is particularly common in tropical climates. 
Melasma doesn't cause any other symptoms besides skin discoloration but may be of great cosmetic concern.  A uniform brown color is usually seen over the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip. It is most often symmetrical (matching on both sides of the face).

Can Melasma Be Treated?
Yes, but it frequently requires a multi-disciplinary approach.  Creams containing hydroquinone, tretinoin (RetinA), kojic acid, and azelaic acid have been shown to improve the appearance of melasma. Many times we recommend chemical peels and microdermabrasions. In severe cases, laser treatments can be used along with a depigmenting cream like Cosmelan, Amelan or Dermelan. 
Avoiding the sun and using sunscreen are key to keeping melasma under control.
Can Malasma Be Cured?
Melasma cannot be cured but in most cases it can be controlled.  Sometimes Melasma spontaneously resolves after pregnancy or if birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy is discontinued.
Melasma treatments will lighten the brown patches but exacerbations can occur and continued maintanence treatments may be necessary.

Dicatat Oleh: Puan Eira 0193338805