Melasma is one of the commonly encountered hyperpigmentation in the Indian Subcontinent. Melasma is commonly seen in the age group between 20 -50 years. Females and males are both affected with high predilection seen in females.
Melasma causes symmetrical hyperpigmented lesions on face which are irregular, patchy, light to dark brown in colour. Central face,malar area, temples and forehead are commonly affected. Melasma pigmentation can be epidermal, dermal or mixed type.
Melasma is affected due to external factors like sunlight, cosmetics, phototoxic drugs and anti seizure medications,oral contraceptive pills and internal factors like hormonal changes, pregnancy, genetic predisposition.
Melasma is also called as chloasma or mask of pregnancy. Melasma caused due to ocp or pregnancy often fades after stopping the medication or when the duration of the pregnancy is over.
Melasma can be treated with skin lightening creams, peels, mesother-apy and lasers .Based on the type and colour of pigmentation, treatment can be decided.
Peels and creams work better on the epidermal type of pigmentation.Usually 6-8 sessions of chemical peels are recommended which can be repeated at an interval of 15days. Peels target the excess melanocytes and improves the skin colour.
Intense pulse light and q switch NDYAG lasers are used to treat melasma. Lasers target epidermal and dermal pigment cells. Mesother-apy is done by using skin lightening agents like kojic acid, arbutin, glutathione and platelet rich plasma.
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