What is Melasma

Melasma is a condition that occurs most commonly in women that are pregnant or using oral contraceptives. It refers to mottled pigmentation and generally the symptoms include dark patches and spots on the cheeks, nose, forehead or upper lip. These symptoms may increase over time.

Melasma is a purely cosmetic concern, though any unusual spotting should be diagnosed by a qualified dermatologist to determine if it is skin cancer.

What causes Melasma?

Melasma is seen most commonly in pregnant women, or women using oral contraceptives. It’s shown to be related to endocrine dysfunction, certain medications, certain nutritional deficiencies, and hepatic (liver) dysfunction. Genetics, hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, and environmental factors such as sun exposure also contributed to the condition.

Hormones stimulate the production of melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells in our skin, as they become exposed by the sun. The increased melanin production causes the spotting we see with Melasma. It’s shown to be related to endocrine dysfunction, certain medications, certain nutritional deficiencies, and hepatic (liver) dysfunction.

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