One of the most common skin conditions that affects millions of people around the world is melasma. This hyper-pigmentation causes tan to brown patches to show up on different areas of your face. The upper lip, cheeks, forehead, and chin are the most common areas on the face where this skin discoloration will show up.
Even though men can get melasma, women account for roughly 90% of all melasma cases. The main reason for this is because of the hormonal changes women experience due to pregnancy or taking birth control pills.
The most common trigger of melasma is excessive exposure to sun rays. Other than staying out in the sun too long you can also trigger your melasma if you take certain medications or if you use cosmetic products that cause allergic reactions.
When you suspect you have melasma the best thing to do is to pay your dermatologist a visit to get an official diagnosis. Your dermatologist will determine if you’re suffering from melasma by first taking a close look at the dark patches on your face.
If the dermatologist can’t diagnose your melasma by just looking at your skin they’ll either put your skin under a wood’s light or perform a skin biopsy.
Once you’re diagnosed with melasma your dermatologist will recommend certain lifestyle changes in order to keep your condition under control.
Some of these lifestyle changes to help get rid of melasma may include:
- Apply sunscreen daily –Applying sunscreen daily is mandatory when you’re suffering from melasma. There are various sunscreens out there to choose from but as long as you go with a broad spectrum protection sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more you should be okay.
- When you apply the sunscreen remember to completely cover the affected areas with it to protect your skin from the rays of the sun. If your melasma is severe you should continue to apply the sunscreen even when the sun isn’t out.
- Wear broad hats –Even if you’re wearing good sunscreen you still want to wear broad brim hats when you go outside in order to prevent your melasma from flaring up. These hats are especially beneficial when you have to be outside in the sun for long periods of time.
- Avoid harsh cosmetic products –When you’re suffering from melasma you want to stay far away from harsh cosmetic products that can worsen this skin condition. If you do decide to use certain cosmetic products make sure they don’t irritate your skin.
Other than making a few lifestyle changes to prevent melasma there are various treatments you can use to fade away the brown discoloration on your skin when it appears.
How effective a treatment will work for your melasma will depend on a number of things. For example, if your melasma has been present for an extended period of time it might take a little longer than usual to fade it away.
One of the most popular ways to treat melasma is to apply a skin lightening cream like hydroquinone. Finally Melasma Free states that hydroquinone cream helps get rid of melasma by stopping the activity of an enzyme known as tyrosinase. The tyrosinase enzyme is what triggers the over production of melanin in your skin and causes the appearance of brown discoloration on your face.
The best way to use hydroquinone for melasma is to apply a thin layer of it on the affected areas on your face. Make sure you don’t apply it anywhere that isn’t affected by melasma or it will lighten those areas as well. You have to also be careful not to get it in your eyes or mouth when you apply it.
Turmeric is a plant that’s closely related to ginger. It’s used around the world as a spice in various foods like cheeses, curry powders, and mustard. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that helps reduce melanin production in the skin, which results in lightening melasma affected skin.
The best way to use turmeric to get rid of melasma is to get it in powder form and mix it with some lemon juice to create a thick paste. Apply the paste directly on the affected areas on your face and allow it to stay there for about 15 minutes before rinsing off.
Repeat the application of this turmeric paste on your face a couple times each day until your melasma begins to fade away.
Kojic acid is a natural skin lightening product that is a great alternative to hydroquinone which can be harsh on some people’s skin.
This natural skin lightener also inhibits the activity of the tyrosinase enzyme. When you apply kojic acid it also has the added benefit of protecting your skin against excessive sun exposure.
If you suffer from melasma give one or all 3 of these treatments a try and see if they help you get your beautiful skin back. Just remember to consistently apply each treatment in order to get the maximum benefit they can provide.