Since the skin is one of the most exposed organs in the body, it is richly supplied with sebaceous glands and melanocytes, which protect the skin from various problems. However, sometimes, the skin may suffer from certain skin disorders owing to fluctuations in the hormonal levels and also the external environment. Melasma is a skin problem that causes skin discoloration of the facial skin, especially on the cheeks, near the mouth, nose, and on the forehead. It affects both men and women, but is more prevalent in women than men.
Melasma is characterized by the appearance of tanned skin, which may range from brown to deep gray in color on the face and some regions on the upper arm. This skin condition is more prevalent in various ethnic groups like Asians, Arabs, Hispanics, etc., the main reason being their skin tone. Darker skin tones have more melanin as compared to lighter skin tones. Though women with lighter skin tone may get affected by this skin disorder, it is not that visible in comparison to those with darker skin tones. This peculiar skin rash is more common in pregnant women and is known as chloasma or 'mask of pregnancy'.
Though the exact reason why melasma occurs is still unknown, it can be triggered due to various factors. Exposure to sun leads to excess production of melanin, which tends to accumulate in certain regions of the face, resulting in discoloration. Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy are also responsible for this skin condition. However, this condition may fade away after childbirth, or if the dose of the hormonal supplements is reduced.
There are several ways with the help of which one can get rid of melasma successfully. If you want to get rid of this condition without harming the skin, then you can use natural ingredients that are available at your home to reduce the pigmentation on the skin. Following are some of the natural remedies:
- One of the basic facts that must be remembered is to avoid exposing the skin to the sun as much as possible. If there are unavoidable circumstances, then apply generous amounts of sunscreen before you step out in the sun. You can also wear other protective shields like a wide-brimmed hat that prevents the skin from getting exposed to the sun's harmful UV rays.
- Another natural remedy is to apply a mixture of vinegar and water to the discolored area. This home remedy will help lighten the pigmentation and also brighten the face. Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar can also be used for this purpose.
- Applying a mixture of turmeric, aloe vera gel, and lemon juice is also an effective remedy. Lemon juice and turmeric inhibit the function of the melanocytes, the cells which produce the pigment melanin. Aloe vera has a soothing effect on the skin and also helps reduce the spread of the rash.
- Onion juice is also an effective way to reduce brown spots and freckles on the skin. Regular application of onion juice can reduce melanin production and lighten the pigmentation. It also prevents the recurrence of melasma-induced face discoloration.
- There are also several over-the-counter creams and solutions for treating this skin disorder. Bleaching cream for melasma contains an active ingredient called hydroquinone, which effectively reduces hyperpigmentation on the face.
- Apart from the aforementioned techniques, there are also several other hyperpigmentation treatment methods like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, etc. But, all these treatment options must be undertaken only after consulting a dermatologist.
Though this is a harmless skin condition, skin discoloration in melasma is a matter of cosmetic concern. Hence, many women opt for remedies and treatments to get rid of this skin condition.
Disclaimer: This BeautiSecrets article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.