What Causes Melasma?Melasma is a patchy discoloration of the skin caused when melanocytes, the color-forming cells in skin tissue, go into overdrive and produce too much color. Common triggers or factors associated with melasma include:
- Hormones – Pregnant women often get melasma or chloasma (mask of pregnancy) as a result of increased estrogen, progesterone, and other melanocyte-stimulating hormones. Melasma can also be triggered by hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills.
- Ultraviolet (UV) Light – Sun exposure can trigger the pigment producing cells in the skin, causing a recurrence of melasma even if it has been successfully treated. It is strongly suggested that those prone to melasma take extra care to protect their skin from the sun year-round.
- Genetics – Certain people have a genetic predisposition for melasma, such as men or women with olive-toned skin.
Effective Melasma TreatmentsWhile there is no current cure for melasma, there are a number of treatment options that can be used to effectively manage the appearance of melasma in a wide range of skin types and tones. These include:
- Fractional laser treatments, which trigger cell reproduction in the skin to improve texture and remove pigmentation.
- Topical products, which can speed up cell turnover and prevent excess melanin from forming.
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