Melasma is a common skin problem. The condition causes brown discoloured patches on your skin. It is also called Chloasma or the” mask of pregnancy “, when it occurs in pregnant women.

The condition is much more common in women than men , though men can get it too.

Brownish coloured patches usually appear on the:

  • Cheeks
  • Forehead
  • Bridge of nose
  • Chin

It can also occur on the neck and forearm. The skin discolouration doesn’t do any physical harm , but you may feel self-conscious about the way it looks

The main reason for melasma is still unclear. It occurs when the Melanocytes (skin colour producing cells) produce too much pigment in the skin , as a result of environmental triggers or genetics

People with dark skin colour are more likely to get Melasma due to the presence of active Melanocytes than people with light skin colour.

Diagnosis of Melasma

  • The skin doctor diagnoses by visual examination
  • Wood’s lamp examination to visualizing the skin to diagnose melasma

Factors Causing Melasma

  • Hormonal changes that occur due to hormonal therapy , pregnancy and contraceptive pills
  • Excessive production of melanin due to malfunction of the Melanocytes results in skin darkening
  • Melanin producing cells are stimulated by the UV rays that comes from excessive sun exposure
  • Several skincare products that can irritate the skin
  • A family history related to pigmentation