Skin Discolorations (Melasma)

Are You Troubled By Skin Discoloration?

Facial skin discoloration is most common in women and men who are aged between 20 and 40. Most often skin discoloration affects the forehead, cheeks and upper lips. The fact is that skin discoloration arises most frequently during pregnancy and is more common in darker skin people than in fair skinned people. A variation of skin discoloration, which is usually referred to as melasma is choalma which is often called “the mask of pregnancy” due to its prevalence during pregnancy. Regardless of the type of skin discoloration you have they are generally more pronounced during the summer months due to increased sun exposure. Unfortunately the causes of melasma are not entirely understood but skin discoloration is believed to be primarily due to an increase in the number of the sorts of cells that release the melanin, which is a natural skin pigment responsible for the darkening the color of the skin.

There are several known triggers that can cause an increase in melanin production and skin discoloration as a result. These include heredity factors like genetics and hormone fluctuations which may explain the prevalence of skin discoloration in pregnant women. Other known triggers of skin discoloration include prolonged sun exposure, use of birth control pills (or a change in the sort of birth control employed), and even some medications such as tetracycline and anti-malarial drugs which are derived from quinine.

If you are seeking treatment for skin discoloration you should be aware that melasma is not known to be related to any medical disorder and in and of itself is a relatively harmless skin condition. You may have cosmetic worries about skin discoloration and the mark may even affect your self esteem, but you should know that the skin discoloration probably does not threaten your health. Before engaging in any sort of treatment for skin discoloration you will have to visit a doctor in order to determine that your skin discoloration is melasma and not another condition. Melasma in pregnant women is relatively simple to identify, but for non-pregnant individuals there are a number of other conditions that could potentially be causing the skin discoloration that should be ruled out before proceeding with any cosmetic treatment.

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If your skin discoloration is determined to be melasma your doctor may suggest the first action you take is nothing, as skin discoloration due to melasma is often a transient skin condition that often resolves itself. For this, treatment is not always necessary.

However, if your skin condition persists your doctor will discuss the options you have for treating your condition. Over the years many different treatments have employed to treat skin discoloration. These have ranged from entirely non invasive skin lightening agents that serve to lightly bleach the skin achieving a desired tone to harsher chemical peels that would eat away the offending skin discoloration. More recently laser treatments have become popular as a less invasive or intense option for permanently treating skin discoloration. Whatever option you select with your doctor it is important that you educate yourself about the procedure so that you know what to expect and how to care for yourself after the procedure.

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