What is Melasma? Types, Causes & Cure

Different people belonging to different backgrounds and regions experience diverse skin problems in accordance to weather conditions and milieu of their nature of work. Human skin is quite vulnerable to weather exposures, climate change, artificially produced radiations, and overexposed lights. In recent times, human interaction with all the aforementioned factors have increased colossally. All this is an uninvited invitation to various kinds of skin diseases and countenance problems.

What is Melasma?

As our face and hands remain uncovered most of the times, so these parts of the body are more prone to skin diseases like wrinkles, scars, acne, infectious diseases and the list goes on. Melasma is a skin disease occurring in the form of brown or dark spots on face and on hands in some cases. The affected part of the face or hands turns into dark brown or blue-gray patches or discrete spots.

Causes of Melasma:

When we work in an environment with overly exposed light, ultraviolet radiations, and in direct contact with sunlight, the chances of hyperpigmentation increase immensely. Moreover, the more exposure to sun enables the melanocytes cells to produce more color known as melanin.

Melanocytes are the cells which reside in epidermis which is the deepest layer present on human face. With increase in exposure to Sun, the ultraviolet radiations directly come in link with these cells which produce more pigment and result in form of more tanned skin. Similarly, it is observed that during the period of pregnancy, melasma is found more often than not. In this case, the hormones estrogen and progesterone of women reach their upper limit. These hormones play an important part in increasing melanin. But in this particular scenario, the color fades or darkens temporally and revives naturally after pregnancy.

Use of Skin Care Products:

Adding on to this, the use of skin care products for reduction of melasma often worsens it. Every person’s skin works and reacts differently to these products. There is a high possibility of the fact that one product produces two opposite outcomes for two different skins. If one person is finding it helpful in recovery of his/her skin then it might generate irritation and dryness for the other.
Apart from all these major reasons, some minor causes of this very disease exist too. For instance, half of the patients suffer from this disease as a result of genetic transmission.

Similarly, some people have hyperactive hormones which produce higher amount of color. The combination of abundance of production of color and overexposed skin results in tanned skin. One important reason noticed lately is the excessive use of mobile phones, watching televisions and spending lavish time of computer. These electronic devices contain high amount of artificially produced light which makes our skin more vulnerable and susceptible. According to different experiments and observations, the use of different drugs (antibiotics), makeup and some soaps also play pivotal role in producing melasma.

Which Parts Does Melasma Affect the Most?

The most exposed part of the skin includes melasma on face and sometimes hands. So, it appears mostly on face. It has further divisions on face like Centro facial which covers most important parts of face including nose, cheeks, foreheads, upper lips, and chin. Similarly, malar deals with the nose and cheek parts. In some of the cases, it appears on neck, hands, forearms and the shoulders.

Types of Melasma:

Melasma is categorized into three different categories:

  • Epidermal
  • Dermal
  • Mixed

Epidermal Melasma:

The very first type is known as ‘Epidermal melasma’ occurs due to damage of the upper most layer of the skin known as epidermis. In this, the pigment of this layer increases more than usual which results in formation of dark patches on nose, cheeks, upper lips and etc.

Dermal Melasma:

The second type is known as ‘Dermal Melasma’, in which secondary layer of the skin gets infected. Dermis is the second layer circumscribing the skin of face protecting bones and every singular organ present there. In this variant, dermis gets affected by rough exposures to different harsh kind of lights. There are several methods to the best treatment for melasma on face which will be discussed later.

Mixed Melasma:

The third and last strain of is known as ‘Mixed melasma’. This particular type has involvement of both dermal and epidermal melasma. All the above mentioned are the only forms present.

Is Melesma Curable or not?

Most of the skin diseases are usually curable as all of them are usually treated at initial stages. But some of them requires an extra detail and attention of skin specialist in order to retain the previous form of the face. Melasma arises at the most sensitive part of the face which plays important role in physical appearance of a person. So the patients became more delicate about the melasma treatment because a failure in treatment could lead to different psychological ambiguities. For this particular reason, a true dermatologist could conduct a proper treatment keeping all the requisites in mind.

Coming on to its treatment, it is a quite complex disease to be treated. In some cases, it cures with the passage of time and in others it occurs for a specific period of time. But in some cases, considering the plight of skin, it becomes hard to completely cure it. In a similar manner, no laser or UV lights could be used to heal because these patches occur as a result of more than usual exposure to sun or lights.

Types of Melasma treatments:

Different professional treatment centers are around you where you could find professional consultancy. Generally, five different kinds of treatments are there for people having exceptional cases regarding Melasma.

Laser Treatment for Melasma:

The first method used to deal in with Melasma is Clear and Brilliant Laser treatment. In this, laser is applied in such a way that the damaged layers of the skin get removed without intruding the already exposed part. In this method, 3-6 treatments are required for perfect results and there is a mild level of discomfort during treatment. After a week, the patient will get the desired result in form of glowing and smooth skin followed by freshness and glamour.

PicoFocus Skin Revitalization:

The second methodology is PicoFocus Skin Revitalization. In this treatment, the higher pigmentation becomes minimal with the help of non-invasive laser treatment. It lightens up the dead skin by reducing the dark patches and by eradicating the acne spots present on face. It also takes a week for attaining the expected outcome and the discomfort it causes remains to mild level followed by redness of skin.

Fraxel Skin Resurfacing:

Fraxel Skin Resurfacing is the third and lengthy process of treatment for patients of Melasma. It is also a laser treatment which go a long way into the depth of skin for removal of dead cells. This is 6 months to 1 year program for extracting the desired outcome. In this treatment hours revolve around 2-3 hours with effects of mild redness and swallowing.

Chemical Peels & Face Rejuvination:

The fourth and fifth procedures are Chemical peels and Face rejuvenation respectively. In chemical peeling, the upper dead layer of the skin gets removed. It makes uneven skin more even and also helps in exterminating the dead spots, acne scars and many other things. Whereas in Face rejuvenation, the natural healing process is trusted more by inciting the collagen of the skin. In this, the dark shadowed eyes get better and the patient radiates younger and more vigorous look. All these methods not only work for betterment of skin but also aids in reduction of psychological stress regarding countenance and physical appearance of a person.


Does Melasma lead to cancer?

Melasma is not either cancerous or painful. It is just a skin disease with different mental and physical effects. There are some severe skin diseases which often lead to skin cancer but melasma is not one of those. It happens mostly to people who have higher interaction with any kind of light, radiations, drugs, makeup and sometimes hormonal imbalance. Luckily, it doesn’t even produce pain or any kind of irritation.

Who gets Melasma more?

According to various researches and observations, women are usually more prone to this disease. According to a general survey, 90% of effected people are women and only 10% of remaining ratio are men. The reason behind women getting it more often is that they have more unstable hormones. Moreover, the pregnancy factors incorporate its part. Similarly, the use of makeup increases the risk of melasma.

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