Plano, TX area dermatologist describes the signs of melasma
A common skin concern for many women in the Plano, TX area is melasma, also known as chloasma or “the mask of pregnancy.” This condition affects women more than men, with approximately 90 percent of sufferers being female as determined by the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology). Patients who have richly pigmented skin may be more likely to experience melasma than their fair-skinned counterparts. This skin concern is often associated with changes in hormones, which is why it can arise while women are pregnant.
This skin condition can be triggered with hormonal therapy, birth control pills, and pregnancy. It can result in cosmetic change to the skin, which is the most common sign of melasma. Melasma appears as pigmentation patches that are darker than the rest of the skin. It also tends to show up on areas of the body that are more often exposed to sunlight, such as the face. It can look symmetrical and can develop quickly. The condition does not cause patients to itch and it strictly aesthetic.
Melasma is diagnosed with a visual examination and a medical history. The signs of melasma
are rather simple for a trained and experienced dermatologist to spot. A dermatologist will want to rule out any infections and determine how severe the melasma is in order to provide effective treatment, if necessary.
This condition is known for going away on its own, or with changes in hormones. Pregnant women may notice the condition go away after they give birth. Patients who are on birth control pills or undergoing hormonal therapy may want to eliminate the hormones or make a change in order to reduce the signs of melasma
. This is a personal decision and it should be made with proper education and knowledge, especially for those who are on hormonal therapies for specific medical concerns.
Patients who are unhappy about the way their melasma appears on the skin may also want to speak to their dermatologist about topical treatments such as brightening agents, which can help lighten the affected areas. Procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion may also help by stripping away the upper layers of the skin and lighten the darker patches over time. Melasma patients must be very careful about using lasers, as they can make the condition worse, but there are some carefully selected lasers that can help this condition. Discussing this with your dermatologist will help you choose the best treatment for your condition.
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