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
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.
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
- "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.
- "How to Remove Upper Lip Pigmentation," LiveStrong, August 16, 2013.
- "Melasma: How to Cope with Skin Discoloration During Pregnancy," Fox News, March 1, 2015.
- "My Cure for Melasma," Singular, December 2, 2016.