Melasma: What it is and how you can treat it!

clairebeccaclairebecca
Sep. 21, 2020
It can be overwhelming researching how to get rid of skin discoloration. Hyperpigmentation has become a bit of a catch-all term in the beauty community and can refer to several things, one of which is melasma.

Melasma on the cheeks

What is Melasma?
Melasma is a condition where brown discolored patterns form on the skin, often symmetrical on both sides of the face. It’s not fully understood what causes melasma, but it’s believed to be associated with hormones, especially estrogen and progesterone levels. Birth control pills and pregnancy are common triggers. 
How to Treat Melasma.
Luckily, melasma responds to many ingredients easily found in over-the-counter skin care products. One of which is hydroquinone, considered the gold-standard for treating melasma.
Hydroquinone is available as a topical you apply after cleansing your face. It works by essentially “bleaching” the skin, which includes the entire area to which you apply, so use it only on areas with melasma! 
Hydroquinone should not be used long-term, and you should only use it for a few months at a time before taking a break, even if your melasma has not completely faded. It should always be worn with sunscreen to prevent further discoloration and inflammation.
Other skin lightening agents such as azelaic acid, vitamin C, AHA’s and BHA’s also fight melasma. 
Steroids prescribed by a doctor are another option when over-the-counter topicals aren’t offering any improvement.  
How to Avoid Melasma in the Future
Since the exact cause of melasma is unknown and it’s likely triggered by hormonal factors, the only true way to avoid melasma is to speak with your doctor about any medications or conditions that could be contributing to a hormonal imbalance.
Remember: wearing sunscreen to prevent further damage of melasma is a must! 
Do you have any tips for treating melasma? 
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