NIH. In: StatPearls. As a parent, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to help decrease the chance of your child developing melasma as he gets older. Melasma is most often diagnosed through a dermatological examination. Ann Dermatol. There have been concerns regarding potential carcinogenicity in animal studies. Melasma appears in six locations or a combination of locations on your skin: Your healthcare provider will decide for sure if you have melasma or another type of skin disorder. ClinicalTrials.gov. Melasma is a very common skin disorder, especially among pregnant women. However, the American Academy of Dermatology reports that many doctors will conduct a small skin biopsy to test the skin's epithelial cells and confirm that the discoloration is due to melasma. Melasma is a very common skin disorder, especially among pregnant women. PLoS Biol. 2015;28(6):648-660. doi:10.1111/pcmr.12404. Because of the strong link between the female hormones estrogen and progesterone and melasma, women who are experiencing an upsurge in these hormones due to hormone-replacement therapy in menopause, pregnancy or from birth control pills have a greater tendency to develop melasma. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should use a daily sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection that also features an SPF of more than 30, even when you are mainly within a building and not in direct sunlight. Melasma is more common in people of colour and those who tan very quickly but can occur to anyone. According to the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Dermatology, melasma has four main causes: excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight; a high circulating blood concentration of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; the inheritance of a predisposition for the disorder; and a skin-care product that irritates the skin and results in an excessive production of melanocytes, the skin's pigment-producing cells. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/27/2020. However, there are a variety of treatments for cases in children for symptoms that do not resolve on their own. A Wood's lamp is a special ultraviolet light used in a dark room that is capable of illuminating portions of skin that have changed color, even when those pigmentation changes are invisible to the eye. Melanocytes are the cells in the skin that deposit pigment. 2010;18(2):124-129. Acquired hyperpigmentations. It is also known as chloasma. Melasma is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy” because it frequently affects pregnant women. Skin-lightening agents, particularly hydroquinone 2-4%. Plensdorf S, Martinez J. Puberty also changes the way you think and see the world. That’s why most people with melasma notice that their symptoms worsen during the summer months. However, to keep your skin healthy in general, try a skin-healthy diet of foods rich in Vitamin D: Those with melasma are more likely to have a thyroid disease. Melasma is commonly referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” because of its frequent appearance in pregnant women. Loosely translated, the word means “black spot.” If you have melasma you’re probably experiencing light brown, dark brown and/or blue-gray patches on your skin. 2015;4:13240-13247. According to the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Dermatology, melasma has four main causes: excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight; a high circulating blood concentration of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; the inheritance of a predisposition for the disorder; and a skin-care product that irritates the skin and results in an excessive production of melanocytes, the skin's pigment-producing cells. It is applied to the affected areas at night for 2-4 months. Other people may have melasma for just a short time, such as during pregnancy. 2017;96(12):797-804. Keep up to date with the latest research about melasma and all things skin related with our newsletter. It causes brown to gray-brown patches on the forehead, upper cheeks, nose, upper lip, and sometimes neck and forearms. It is rare after menopause. Grant says that melasma during pregnancy is common, especially during the summer, when more exposure to daylight and heat can stimulate the condition. It is common during pregnancy and while the exact cause is unknown, some possible triggers are an increase in active skin cells, increased hormones, medications, skin care products, sun exposure, and certain thyroid conditions. Melasma typically darkens and lightens over time, often getting worse in the summer and better in the winter. skin condition characterized by the development of the brownish patch on the skin of the face Sarkar R, Ailawadi P, Garg S. Melasma in Men: A Review of Clinical, Etiological, and Management Issues. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. The outer layer is the epidermis, the middle is the dermis, and the deepest layer is the subcutis. Possible Involvement of Keratinocyte Growth Factor in the Persistence of Hyperpigmentation in both Human Facial Solar Lentigines and Melasma. An adult Computer/Television Screens on melasma of your body weight making melasma worse above the upper lip and forehead. 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