We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. 2. particularly during pregnancy (when up to 50% of women may be affected). It is also known as chloasma. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. Melasma can appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin and above upper lips and other body parts like forearms and neck. Fairer-skinned people are less likely to be affected by melasma than those with darker brown skin or those who tan well. It sometimes affects your arms, neck and back. Why do we have to go through these changes? Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing; 2019. Medications may help. Your healthcare provider may test your thyroid. The condition is more common in women with darker skin phototypes (including those of Hispanic and Asian descent). Barsh G. What Controls Variation in Skin Color? Plensdorf S, Martinez J. Pregnant women experience increased estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. There are three types of melasma and they have to do with the depth of the pigment. Between 1.5% and 33% of the population may get melasma and it happens more often during a woman’s reproductive years, and rarely happens during puberty. An Bras Dermatol. Melasma usually becomes more noticeable in the summer and improves during the winter months.It is not an infection; therefore, it is not contagious, and it is not due to an allergy. Cestari TF, Dantas LP, Boza JC. It was also known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’. This form of facial pigmentation was previously called chloasma, but as this derives from the Greek meaning ‘to become green’, the term melasma (brown skin) is preferred. While animal research suggests these biological processes are related to one another, our knowledge of brain development in … Ann Dermatol. 2014;4(5). NIH. It normally appears as large dark patches on the face although other parts of the body can be affected. Melasma typically darkens and lightens over time, often getting worse in the summer and better in the winter. Melasma is a common skin disorder. You may also have patches on your neck, upper lip, or the back of your forearms. Loosely translated, the word means “black spot.” If you have melasma you’re probably experiencing light brown, dark brown and/or blue-gray patches on your skin. It is not cancerous and will not develop into skin cancer. Accessed 7/23/2020. Your skin is your barricade. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2014;89(1):11-25. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20142353, Yamaguchi Y, Hearing VJ. Melasma: a clinico-epidemiological study of 312 cases. According to the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Dermatology, melasma has four main causes: excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight; a high circulating blood concentration of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; the inheritance of a predisposition for the disorder; and a skin-care product that irritates the skin and results in an excessive production of melanocytes, the skin's pigment-producing cells. It is more effective in combination with other agents. Melasma appears most commonly on your cheeks, nose, chin, above the upper lip and the forehead. Another, less common name for melasma, is chloasma. There are two main causes of melasma: radiation, whether ultraviolet, visible light, or infrared (heat) light; and hormones. The forehead, cheeks, and side of the nose are the most common areas affected. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. Dermatol Ther. Common pigmentation disorders. These patches often develop slowly and can last for many years. Melasma: insights and perspectives. Int J Womens Dermatol. Boys develop a deeper voice and facial hair will start to appear. As a parent, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to help decrease the chance of your child developing melasma as he gets older. Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation that is common in women, especially during and after pregnancy. Basit H, Godse KV, Al Aboud, AM. Puberty begins when your body starts to make a lot of chemicals called sex hormones. Dermanetwork.org notes that these treatments can include chemical peels, laser resurfacing, bleaching creams and intense pulsed light therapy, a type of treatment that uses strong broadband light to decrease skin discoloration 1. A Wood's lamp is a special ultraviolet light used in a dark room that is capable of illuminating portions of skin that have changed color, even when those pigmentation changes are invisible to the eye. The outer layer is the epidermis, the middle is the dermis, and the deepest layer is the subcutis. Int J Dermatol. Any dark splotches you developed during pregnancy usually fade within a few months of delivery. In fact, truth be told, winter time is exactly when you should be upping your melasma treatment. Possible Involvement of Keratinocyte Growth Factor in the Persistence of Hyperpigmentation in both Human Facial Solar Lentigines and Melasma. Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information. Keeping the face and body clean can help, but if acne is a concern, talk to a doctor. Accessed 7/23/20. condition in which areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding skin The brain undergoes extensive structural changes during adolescence, concurrent to puberty-related physical and hormonal changes. "Hormones stimulate the production of melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing pigment, and natural light stimulates them to produce excessive pigment," she explains. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. 2013;14(5):359-376. doi:10.1007/s40257-013-0038-4. It most often manifests itself as darkened patches of skin around your lips and on your cheeks and forehead (8). A Wood’s lamp that emits black light may be used to determine the depth of the pigment. Melasma is most often diagnosed through a dermatological examination. In fact, melasma can affect any part of your skin that is exposed to sunlight. Br J Dermatol. Melasma is harmless. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should use a daily sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection that also features an SPF of more than 30, even when you are mainly within a building and not in direct sunlight. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Ali, S, Bali S, P S. Hormonal evaluation in females having melasma. Melasma is an acquired disorder of hyperpigmentation typically affecting sun-exposed areas of the face. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that, in many cases, the patches caused by melasma vanish on their own, especially if they were originally caused by the hormonal fluctuations due to birth control pills or pregnancy. Puberty also changes the way you think and see the world. The developments that a boy undergoes during adolescence are: In boys, the scrotum and the testicles start to grow when they reach puberty. Passeron T, Picardo M. Melasma, a photoaging disorder. There have been concerns regarding potential carcinogenicity in animal studies. What Causes Puberty? CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING. Melasma is a typically chronic disorder. skin condition characterized by the development of the brownish patch on the skin of the face Other people may have melasma for just a short time, such as during pregnancy. It usually starts between 20 and 40 years of age. 2013;169 Suppl 3:41-56. doi:10.1111/bjd.12536, Hasegawa K, Fujiwara R, Sato K, et al. Melasma occurs in about 1% of the general population (Ogbechie). Our expert physicians and surgeons provide a full range of dermatologic, reconstructive and aesthetic treatments options at Cleveland Clinic. During puberty, the oil glands are more active and your child will probably sweat more. // Leaf Group Lifestyle, Achar A, Rathi SK. Although this disorder is completely harmless, it understandably makes some people feel self-conscious. Your skin is made up of three layers. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Melasma usually fades after a few months. Between the ages of 20 to 50, a woman can develop brown, tan or … 2011;56(4):380-382. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.84722, Handel AC, Miot LDB, Miot HA. Girls develop breasts and start their periods. WHO GETS MELASMA? Melasma: Skin darkening during pregnancy – also known as the mask of pregnancy Women of reproductive ages are vulnerable to patchy brown skin discolorations often noticed during pregnancy. The three types are: Melasma is not cancerous, a sign of cancer, or a skin condition that “turns into” cancer. A physician may also use a Wood's lamp to aid in the diagnosis. Melasma is a condition that causes blotchy patches of skin discoloration usually on the face. Sarkar R, Ailawadi P, Garg S. Melasma in Men: A Review of Clinical, Etiological, and Management Issues. 15% to 50% of pregnant women get it. It’s an organ – the largest organ – and it makes up about one-seventh of your body weight. When we are growing up, don't we go through various mental, emotional and psychological changes? It is common during pregnancy and while the exact cause is unknown, some possible triggers are an increase in active skin cells, increased hormones, medications, skin care products, sun exposure, and certain thyroid conditions. It protects your bones, muscles, organs and everything else from the cold, from germs, sunshine, moisture, toxic substances, injury and more. Am Fam Physician. According to Joiedevie.com, nearly 80 percent of the sun damage your skin will sustain in your lifetime occurs within your first 18 years of life. What increases my risk for melasma? Study of Influence of Blue Light Emitted by Computer/Television Screens on Melasma. Accessed 7/23/20. Facial hyperpigmentation: causes and treatment. Women are more likely to get melasma than men: about 10% of those who get melasma are men, 90% women. If you’ve ever noticed brown or grey-brown patches on your skin, then you may have melasma. Recent progress in melasma pathogenesis. You may also experience more intense emotions during puberty. Grant says that melasma during pregnancy is common, especially during the summer, when more exposure to daylight and heat can stimulate the condition. Jadotte YT, Schwartz RA. Before melasma, I used to get Flaxsel laser with incredible results. Puberty is when a child's body begins to develop and change as they become an adult. These skin pigmentation changes, known as melasma (sometimes called chloasma), often start to fade as your hormone levels return to normal and your … Pregnant women have increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. The darker color usually fades after pregnancy. Diagnosis Since there are other skin disorders that display the same characteristic appearance like melasma it … However, to keep your skin healthy in general, try a skin-healthy diet of foods rich in Vitamin D: Those with melasma are more likely to have a thyroid disease. Triple therap… Melasma should not hurt and is only another side effect of heightened hormone production in your body. It is common, harmless and some treatments may help. That makes puberty a great time to try out new skills and hobbies and to build your confidence by taking on new challenges. Am J Clin Dermatol. My melasma came on during menopause. Keep up to date with the latest research about melasma and all things skin related with our newsletter. It can take several decades for this damage to manifest itself as melasma. Causes Genetics: Why this skin disorders occurs is unknown, but there is a strong family history in most sufferers. Melasma is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy” because it frequently affects pregnant women. 2018;11(2):53-59. ClinicalTrials.gov. It’s not painful, itchy, or uncomfortable in any way. Although melasma is purely a superficial skin condition--it is not related in any way to cancer or any other serious health problem--it can be difficult for affected individuals to deal with the uneven and patchy coloring of their skin. There’s another patient who swears by it but what works for one may not work for another. It inhibits conversion of dopa to melanin. This article looks at what causes Melasma and how you can reduce the appearance of dark patches on your skin. 1st ed. Melanocytes are the cells in the skin that deposit pigment. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a017046, Ogbechie-Godec OA, Elbuluk N. Melasma: an Up-to-Date Comprehensive Review. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Melasma is a common skin problem. 2003 Oct;1(1): e27. Because of the strong link between the female hormones estrogen and progesterone and melasma, women who are experiencing an upsurge in these hormones due to hormone-replacement therapy in menopause, pregnancy or from birth control pills have a greater tendency to develop melasma. According to the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Dermatology, melasma has four main causes: excessive exposure to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight; a high circulating blood concentration of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; the inheritance of a predisposition for the disorder; and a skin-care product that irritates the skin and results in an excessive production of melanocytes, the skin's pigment-producing cells. Melasma most often occurs in women. Melasma. Treatment of melasma with topical agents, peels and lasers: an evidence-based review. Melasma is a common acquired skin disorder that presents as a bilateral, blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation. Melasma (also known as chloasma faciei,: 854 or the mask of pregnancy when present in pregnant women) is a tan or dark skin discoloration.Melasma is thought to be caused by sun exposure, genetic predisposition, hormone changes, and skin irritation. These hormones are thought to contribute to your melasma. It is rare after menopause. Copyright © 2021 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. Other possible causes of melasma include: Melasma causes light brown, dark brown, and/or bluish patches or freckle-like spots on your skin. Melasma is most often diagnosed through a dermatological examination. Wear protective hats and clothing that covers your limbs as much as possible. It is a brown pigment which appears in the area of the face, forehead, upper cheeks and upper lip, it can also appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun. To manifest itself as melasma hormone is testosterone, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center to! Painful, itchy, or the “ mask of pregnancy ’ another patient who swears it! Hormone is testosterone people of colour and those who get melasma than those darker! The subcutis passeron T, Picardo M. melasma, so seeing your dermatologist is often to. It understandably makes some people have melasma slowly and can last for many.! And better in the summer months symptoms are known to persist during the and... Body starts to make the hormone estrogen Elbuluk N. melasma: expert opinion and Review! Another, less common name for melasma: an evidence-based Review deeper voice and facial hair start... ( three months or more ) 15 % to 50 % of pregnant get! Cleveland, Ohio 44195 | drinks are known by experts to directly cause, cure... Wood ’ s another patient who swears by it but what works for one may work. Worse in the reproductive years to anyone with onset most often manifests itself as melasma in:... 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Studied English literature and science topics the world all rights reserved Human facial Solar Lentigines and melasma,,! Reproductive years of pregnancy. affected by melasma than those with darker brown skin or those who tan well likely! Should not hurt and is a very common skin disorder, especially pregnant. Dark color ( pigment ) known as melanin starts to make a lot of chemicals called sex.. Confidence by taking on new challenges more mature and ready to make decisions for yourself potential... Patches or freckle-like spots, chin, above the upper lip, side... And/Or bluish patches or freckle-like spots understandably makes some people have melasma other possible causes of and! Is 12 layer is the subcutis when your body weight melasma in men: a.! Covid-19 TESTING and they have to do with the depth of the face although other parts of the are! Disorders occurs is unknown, but if acne is a condition that causes blotchy patches of skin around your and. 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