Melasma affects almost 50 million people around the world. Chin, cheeks, forehead, bridge of
the nose and above the upper lip areas are usually prone to pigmentation. Melasma is a common skin problem that
many women struggle with. It is a condition where the skin holds excess melanin. It is a brown pigment that
determines visible differences in skin tone.
Do you feel self-conscious about your
melasma? Generally, it is found on the face, making it demands effective treatment for those who
This article can provide you information to treat melasma. Some
options inlcude skin lightening creams, chemical peels and laser therapy.
As you know by now, melasma is an over stimulation of the
melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells which produce melanin.
All of us have the same number of melanocytes. But when it comes
to melanin synthesis, the melanocytes produce melanin in different quantities depending on the stimuli. Spikes in
hormonal levels that are prevalent during pregnancy, the course of taking birth control pills or when you are
suffering from thyroid dysfunction can cause melanocytes to produce abnormal levels of melanin. Also, sun exposure
can stimulate the production of melanin. That is why many dermatologists advise the use of sunscreen and restricted
sun exposure when treating melasma.
One of the common lightening agents is hydroquinone.
Over-the-counter creams usually come with low concentrations of hydroquinone. It works well for mild forms of
melasma when used twice daily. For higher concentrations of hydroquinone, you need prescription. The results are
not fast. So please wait about three months before the mask starts to fade. For increased lightening effect, you
can combine creams containing tretinoin, steroids, and glycolic acid with hydroquinone.
But you should use non-hydroquinone creams. They are less
irritating and present minimal side effects. The best melasma cream usually contains arbutin, kojic acid, licorice and vitamin
C. Although it doesn't remove melanocytes, but it can interfere the activity of these pigment-producing
One study evaluates the effectiveness of combining triple topical
therapy and nonablative fractional laser therapy. They seem promising. But there is no clear evidence if the
melasma will recur after treating it with laser. Recurrences of melasma especially among those with dark skin tone
have been reported at about 33%. If you are considering this option, then start with triple topical therapy for 8
weeks. Then followed by a laser therapy. Don't put your hope too high as there is a chance for the pigmentation to
You can try home remedies to reduce melasma. Extract juice from a
handful of mint leaves. Apply the solution on the affected area. Let it dry naturally. Wash the area with cold
water after 15 minutes. Do this twice a day.
It does not matter which melasma treatment you use. If you don't protect your skin from the sun, then the treatment
will fail. You should wear hats and other forms of shade along with the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Make
sure the sunscreen provides protection against both UV-A and UV-B ultraviolet light. Always choose SPF of 30 or
higher. If you can find sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, it would better for your skin.
They stop the UV rays from reaching the skin.