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Melasma

Melasma is a common chronic skin condition. The symptoms of melasma are symmetrical & blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation. Moreover, it usually appears on the face – cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, above the upper lip, chin.

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Melasma generally fades on its own. However, some people may want to treat it for cosmetic reasons. Patients must complete the treatment. READ MORE

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TIMELINE

Melasma generally does not have any symptoms. Very rarely, some patients may face itching, pain, or tenderness.

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Related Q&A’s

Melasma

Melasma is a condition in which brown patches appear on parts of the skin exposed to the sun.

This is common in pregnant women and often called “the mask of pregnancy”. In fact, this appears as freckle-like spots forming large, flat, brown patches.

The pigmentation is a result of the overproduction of melanin. People who tan easily or have naturally brown skin are prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes compared to people with lighter skin.

 

Causes of Melasma

Melasma depends on your genetic predisposition. A few of the other triggering factors are:

  • Sun exposure:

Uncontrolled exposure to the sun is the leading trigger as UV light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes, increasing melanin production.

  • Hormonal changes:

Internal hormonal changes, as seen in pregnancy, stress, thyroid disorders as well as exogenous hormone treatments in the form of oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, hormone replacement therapy, are all implicated in the triggering of melasma.

  • Medications:

Certain medications like anti-seizure drugs, anti malignant drugs could also act as triggers.

  • Skincare products:

Scented soaps, toiletries, cosmetics and skincare products that irritate the skin. Therefore, this may increase melanin production and accelerate melasma symptoms.

Do & Don't for Getting Melasma

DO: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen
DO: Use physical sun protection like scarves, jackets and hats.
DO: Exfoliate every 1o days.
DO: Follow a regular skincare routine.
DON’T: Leave the house without sun protection
DON’T: Spend too much time in the heat, saunas or steam rooms.
DON’T: Take any medication without consulting your doctor.

Types of Melasma

  • Epidermal melanosis:

In this condition, the excess melanin layers on keratinocytes present in the epidermis. In fact, this type of melasma has patches with well-defined borders and respond well to treatment.

  • Dermal melanosis:

In this condition, the excess melanin may be deposited in the inner layer of skin called the dermis. Moreover, this type of melasma has unclear borders and does not respond well to treatment.

  • Mixed:

In this condition, pigmentation occurs in the epidermis as well as the dermis.

  • Unnamed:

This type n dark-complexioned individuals.

Patterns of Melasma

Melasma occurs on both sides of the face, indistinct patterns such as -

  • Centrofacial pattern:

This occurs on the forehead, cheeks, nose and upper lip. This is the most common pattern.

  • Malar pattern:

This occurs on the cheeks and nose.

  • Mandibular pattern:

This occurs on the jawline.

Treatments of Melasma

Melasma may clear out spontaneously, without treatment. This may happen especially in pregnant women after the delivery is complete. This happens when any hormonal imbalance regularises. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to follow the instructions given by the dermatologist, as some treatments may prove harmful to the foetus and the newborn. 

The doctor will assess the skin to diagnose melasma and may recommend treatment based on the cause.

Some of the treatment options are:

  • Hydroquinone:

Hydroquinone inhibits tyrosinase, which is an enzyme involved in melanin production. Therefore, it decreases the melanin levels in skin. Hydroquinone is a lightening or depigmenting topical agent which is available in cream, lotion, gel, or liquid forms. In fact, it is available over the counter in low doses (2%), and by prescription in higher doses (4%).

However, it causes darkening of skin with overuse at high concentrations. If this happens, it should be discontinued immediately.  When used under supervision, hydroquinone is  ‘gold standard’ of melasma treatment.

  • Retinoids and corticosteroids:

Retinoids increase skin cell turnover and allow fresh cells to form quickly. Tretinoin creams contain retinoids that seem to have efficacy in treating melasma. Usually, dermatologists recommend retinoids in combination with other creams like azelaic acid or hydroquinone. There are mild side effects like peeling, dry skin, and irritation. On the other hand, corticosteroids work by lightening the affected areas.

  • Other topical medication:

Azelaic acid (20%), kojic acid, cysteamine hydrochloride (5%) may also be effective in treating melasma. It is important to do a patch test to rule out the possibility of any allergy. 

  • Chemical peels:

Chemical peels exfoliate the top layers of the pigmented skin. Moreover, the dermatologist will choose the type and strength of the chemical peel best suited to the individuals' skin type. In fact, only dermatologists must administer Chemical peels.

  • Microdermabrasion:

Microdermabrasion is a form of mechanical exfoliation. In this treatment, a vacuum suction and an abrasive material exfoliate the top layers of skin.  Moreover, this treatment may require multiple sessions for best results. In fact, dermatologists combine this treatment with other treatments.

  • Laser therapy:

There are various types of Lasers. Dermatologists assess your skin type and level of pigmentation. Accordingly, they choose the right laser for you. Lasers are one of the most effective forms of treatment. 

  • Sun protection:

Exposure to the sun is the leading cause of melasma. Therefore, sun protection is the most important step of any treatment. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a 30 SPF should be used daily. In fact, one must re-apply it every few hours. The sunscreen can be applied over any of the topical medicines or creams. Using sunscreen regularly enhances the effectiveness of other treatments.

Important Announcement

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Hello Sir/Mam,

Clear Skin &HairMD team is pleased to offer ONLINE VIDEO COUNSELLING facility to to help patients with basic counselling for their skin and hair ailments, especially in the trying times when social distancing has become a necessity.

Our Doctors, will discuss your queries related to Skin & Hair Problems & guide you with basic information on medication and care

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All Days, Between 10 am to 2 pm

Basic Information related to Video Counselling Sessions

  1. Counselling will be done with Prior appointment, which should be taken at least 2 days before the session
  2. Counselling session Slot will be finalised post the payment confirmation from our accounts team
  3. Video Counselling session duration - 15 min
  4. Consultation Fee for each session - Rs 700 (Payment Details are shared below for your reference)
  5. Sessions can be done through Whatsapp video call
  6. Before the session, you will need to share your Images and questions related to your skin/hair ailment on WhatsApp of our with our Patient Support Team at +91-74989 06403
  7. Images of the area should cover all sides. Images should be in good light with focus. For e.g. image of face should cover left and right side chin, forehead and cheeks. This will help us contextualise the discussion.
  8. Medicines will be prescribed as per the latest Medical Council of India guidelines for Telemedicine (March 2020) and sent over email and WhatsApp,
About Doctors

Dr. Dhananjay Chavan

Clearskin is spearheaded by Dr. Chavan, a certified dermatologist with over 30 years of experience. He has successfully treated patients with different dermatological problems.
He is the Medical Director and the driving force behind ClearSkin.
He completed his Masters in Dermatology from the historic B. J. Medical College Sassoon Hospital, Pune. He is a visiting faculty at the Department of Dermatology, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Karad.
He is very passionate about all types of cosmetological and dermatological procedures and is strongly recommends a holistic approach for all types of skin and cosmetological problems.

Dr. Chavan is one of the leading dermatologists in India, and is well known internationally as well.

Dr. Sachin Pawar

Dr. Sachin Pawar is a highly qualified hair transplant consultant and surgeon with more than 17 years of industry experience. He completed his post graduation from Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences KIMS, Karad. He has been associated with Dr. Dhananjay Chavan since the past 10 years. He has relevant experience in the fields of dermatology, hair transplant and surgery. He has an associate member of International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS).

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For any additional Queries connect with our Patient Support Team at +91-74989 06403

Timeline for Melasma

The melasma patches do not itch or pain. However, they may cause embarrassment and distress to the individual. Further, this may lead to self-image issues.
Dermatologists can easily diagnose Melasma. It has a typical appearance of the brown skin patches on the face. A black-light or Wood's light (340-400 nm) aids in the diagnosis.

Mixed melasma is the most common diagnosis, which is caused by the presence of excess pigment in the dermis and epidermis. A skin biopsy may be necessary to help exclude other causes, but this is very rare. Melasma has a tendency to recur. Sun protection is a must to prevent that.

Do & Don't for Getting Pigmentation

DO: Visit your dermatologist in the initial stages.
DO: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (> SPF 30).
DO: Use sun protection like scarves and hats.
DO: You need to avoid excessive sun exposure.
DO: Carry an umbrella, wear full sleeves clothing or broad-brimmed hats.
DO: Wear SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen with PA++ protection.

DON’T: Overexpose yourself to the sun.
DON’T: Step outdoors without sunscreen.
DON’T: Ignore sunburns as they may lead to skin cancer

Do & Don't for Getting Aging

DO: Consult your dermatologist before trying any product or treatment
DO: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen to prevent photodamage.
DO: Maintain a healthy skincare routine.
DO: Drink 2-3 litres of water daily.
DO: Eat a healthy & balanced diet

DON’T: Use sulphate and petroleum jelly based skin care products.
DON’T: Use skincare products that don’t suit your skin type.
DON’T: Leave the house without sun protection.
DON’T: Smoke and drink.
DON’T: Overuse anti-ageing products.



We are working on the content. For more information contact
Our patient support team on the number given below.
Kindly co-operate with us.

Call : +91-7498 906 403