A common condition among women, melasma appears as discoloration of their nose, forehead, chin, and upper lip. It may also show up on other parts of their body that get lots of sun, such as their forearms or neck.

Melasma is mainly triggered by pregnancy, birth control pills, and hormone therapy. Sun exposure also causes it: Ultraviolet rays affect the cells that control skin pigment. For some women, melasma may disappear on its own. But for others, the discoloration can stick around indefinitely.

5 ways you can prevent melasma

If you’re suffering from melasma, there are steps you can take to help fade it. These include:

1. Use of sunscreen

Since sun exposure causes melasma, it’s extremely important that you wear sunscreen at all times. You can also try double sunscreen, in which you layer an SPF 15 sunscreen beneath an SPF 30 sunscreen for additional protection. When you’re out in the sun, you’ll also want to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to further protect your face.

2. Stress reduction

Melasma owes mainly to hormonal imbalance, which stress can worsen. Find ways to cope with your stress. You can meditate, exercise, or read. These are tried and true stress-relieving activities.

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3. Use of hydroquinone creams

These medicated ointments lighten the skin, which helps to fade melasma. Hydroquinone creams work by blocking the natural chemical process that’s responsible for creating melanin in your skin. You can easily find hydroquinone creams at your local drugstore.

4. Stopping birth control or hormone replacement therapy

If you suspect that your melasma owes to birth control or hormone replacement you're taking, you should talk to your doctor about switching brands or going off your regimen altogether.

5. Undergoing chemical peels, laser treatment, or microdermabrasion

Chemical peels, laser treatment, and microdermabrasion can lighten the appearance of melasma. All of these treatments remove the top layers of the skin that are affected by melasma. When new skin grows back, it’s melasma-free.

The color that you want

A flawlessly even skin tone is something ever woman wants. Yet sometimes the reality of your life may work against having that naturally. At such times, you need a little help in keeping your skin healthy and glowing. There are many aids there to help you in any fight against melasma. And many of these remedies come with little effort and expense.

References

  1. "Here's How Ginger Zee Got Rid of Her Melasma — and Everything Else You Need to Know About the Common Skin Issue," People, March 1, 2017.
  2. "How to Remove Upper Lip Pigmentation," LiveStrong, August 16, 2013.
  3. "Melasma: How to Cope with Skin Discoloration During Pregnancy," Fox News, March 1, 2015.
  4. "My Cure for Melasma," Singular, December 2, 2016.

melasma | uneven skin tone | skincare