Dr Nikhil Juneja

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It’s a Patchy or general pigmentation of the skin that usually occurs on the face. It’s also known as cholama or pregnancy marks. Its more common in the women, specially the pregnant women. It’s a non cancerous disorder of not a well defined cause wherein there is present dark coloured(hyperpigmented) paches. Birth control pills and increased sun exposure could be the cause.
- Melasma mostly occurs in women. Only 10% of those affected are men.
- Melasma is a very common skin disorder. Chloasma is especially common in women aged 20-40. It is more common in dark skins than in fair skins.
- Melasma is often associated with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone
- Melasma develops due to a combination of genetic, hormonal and sun related factors, men may also be affected.
What all could be the cause? The exact cause of melasma is unknown. People with a family history of melasma are more likely to develop melasma . It is commonly associated with pregnancy, Birth control pills may also cause melasma. A hormonal imbalance or skin irritation may also trigger melasma Sun exposure contributes to melasma. Ultraviolet light from the sun, and even very strong light from light bulbs, can stimulate pigment-producing cells, or melanocytes in the skin. These melanocytes produce a large amount of pigment under normal conditions, but this production increases even further when stimulated by light exposure or an increased hormone level.
It usually affects women but occasionally is seen in young men who use after-shave lotions or facial products. Deficiency of Folic Acid during pregnancy can also lead to development of Melasma. It may develop in association with menopause or ovarian disorder
It’s not at all associated with any internal diseases or organ malfunction.
The symptoms of melasma are dark, tanned, irregular patches commonly found on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip, and forehead.
The dark patches often appear on both sides of the face in a nearly identical pattern.
The darker-colored patches of skin can be any shade, from tan to deep brown.
These patches often develop gradually over time.
Melasma does not cause any other symptoms beyond the cosmetic discoloration
Some preventive measures
Avoiding the sun and use sunscreen.
Avoid irritating the facial skin by using facial products that irritate the skin.
Increase intake of foods high in folic acid, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, asparagus, broccoli, potatoes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Old looking spotted face with dry, rough, wrinkled and scaly skin; Itching, violently at night. Unbreakable itching, especially from warmth.
Sepia Offincinalis
Yellow spots the on the face, and a yellow saddle across the upper part of cheeks and nose. Ailments during pregnancy.
Thuja Occidentalis
Dry skin with brown spot. Skin looks dirty. Face, pale, waxy, shiny; dark under eyes.
Grayish-yellow discoloration of the face, with blue circles around the eyes. Brown spot on face and nose. Craves warmth.
Argenticum Nitricum
Face looks sunken, old, pale and bluish. Skin is brown, tense and hard. A prematurely aged look.
Yellowish stains on nose and cheeks; worse from exposure to sun and wind.
Plumbum metallicum
The Skin of face is greasy and shiny. Face pale cachetic. Sunken cheeks with dark spots and yelloishness is also there.
Caulophyllum Thalictroides
Discoloration of skin in women with menstrual and uterine disorders.
Other useful remedies could be :-
Cadm-s., card-m., nux vomica, guarana and robinia