Melasma is a frustrating and emotionally draining skin condition for many people. If you’re one of them, you know how stressful it can be to manage something that is still so little understood, particularly when symptoms tend to flare up most due to environmental or hormonal factors, both of which you have little control over. Sure, melasma may fade over time, but it’s difficult to give up control in hopes that the condition will resolve itself—particularly if inaction may cause its appearance to worsen.

For those interested in taking control over their melasma, this guide offers an overview to help you better understand the condition, its causes, and how you can reduce its appearance while preventing further skin damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Causes and risk factors of melasma

This means birth control pills, pregnancy, and hormone therapy can all trigger melasma. Stress and thyroid disease are also thought to be causes of melasma. Additionally, sun exposure can cause melasma because ultraviolet rays affect the cells that control pigment (melanocytes)

Melasma can fade on its own. … If the melasma does not go away or a woman wants to keep taking birth control pills, melasma treatments are available. These include: Hydroquinone: This medicine is a common first treatment for melasma.

Birth control pills and hormone replacement medicine also can trigger melasma. … It is thought that the overproduction of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) brought on by stress can cause outbreaks of this condition. Other rare causes of melasma include allergic reaction to medications and cosmetics.

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