Is Melasma Caused by Hormonal Imbalance?
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Is Melasma Caused by Hormonal Imbalance?

Jun 16, 2023

Is Melasma Caused by Hormonal Imbalance?

Table Of Contents

Worried about your skin condition? Get in touch with best of our skin specialists in Pune. For a skin treatment, book an appointment with our dermatologists near you +919584584111

Types of Melasma

Causes of Melasma

Who is at a Greater Risk of Melasma?

Melasma and Hormones – What is the Connection?

Melasma Treatment

Melasma features dark skin patches on areas of the face exposed to the sun. It affects young women with a brownish skin tone. However, it can affect anyone. But is melasma caused by hormonal imbalance, in particular? And, if yes, what hormone causes melasma? Many experts believe in a connection between melasma and hormonal imbalance. So, let’s delve into some vital aspects of melasma and hormonal imbalance.

Types of Melasma

Melasma types depend on the pigment’s depth. Accordingly, the three types include,

  • Epidermal: It is dark brown with a well-defined border. The melasma is apparent under black light and, in some cases, responds well to the treatment.
  • Dermal: It is light brown and bluish with a blurry border. It doesn’t appear differently under black light and doesn’t respond well to melasma treatment.
  • Mixed: It is the most common one with brownish and bluish patches. It exhibits a mixed pattern under black light and responds to some extent to treatment.

Causes of Melasma

The actual cause of melasma remains a mystery. Research suggests melanocytes (cells that give skin its color) become more active when an individual suffers from melasma. Now, why this happens is a question yet unanswered. Some common causes of melasma, as observed, include the following.

  • Pregnancy: An increase in hormones called estrogen and progesterone, which happens during pregnancy, is believed to trigger melasma.

  • Exposure to Sunlight: Sunlight triggers excess production of melanin. The most affected areas include the neck, face, and arms.
  • Thyroid: Problems in the thyroid gland can develop melasma. In some cases, treating the thyroid consequently treats melasma as well.
  • Stress: Arguably, stress is another cause of melasma. Stress results in the production of the hormone cortisol, which may develop melasma.
  • Medications: Birth control pills, anti-seizure medicines, and medications that make the skin more sensitive to sunlight also cause melasma.

Who is at a Greater Risk of Melasma?

People, especially women, particularly those with darker brown skin, are more likely to suffer from melasma. Of all the melasma cases, about 90 percent are those of women. Furthermore, pregnant women are at a higher risk of melasma. Additionally, people on oral contraceptives are more prone to melasma’s onset. 

Melasma and Hormones – What is the Connection?

Melasma has a connection with hormonal imbalance. But which hormone causes melasma? The answer is female sex hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, which stimulate the overproduction of melanin when the skin is exposed to the sun.

So, does progesterone cause melasma, and does progesterone make melasma worse? Again, the answer is yes. However, the degree may vary from case to case. Melasma treatment can help relieve the condition. Let’s look at some.

Melasma Treatment

Melasma that develops during pregnancy usually cures on its own as the hormonal levels return to normal. When the woman stops taking oral contraceptives, the condition usually clears up. However, in some cases, it could take months or even years before the condition is cleared. In cases where the individual has to continue consuming oral contraceptives or the melasma has developed due to some other cause, some melasma treatment options may include the following.

  • Chemical peels

  • Dermabrasion
  • Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion

  • Topical creams and oral tablets as prescribed by the dermatologist

Melasma treatment requires dermatologist consultation. Hence, one should consult a dermatologist before using any medicine to treat melasma. At Clear Skin, our experienced dermatologists can help you treat melasma appropriately based on your condition. Connect with us to book an appointment and get more insights on melasma and hormonal imbalance, low estrogen and melasma, and its treatment.

For treating your skin condition, feel free to get in touch with one of our best dermatologists in Pune. You can also call on +919584584111 to book an appointment at one of our skin clinics near you.

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About the Author: Dr Dhanraj Chavan

Dr. Dhanraj Chavan is a globally trained, young, and dynamic dermatologist. He is a Consultant Dermatologist and Varicose Vein Specialist at Clear Skin, VeinMD, and HairMD.

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