Int J Womens Dermatol. 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. 2015;4:13240-13247. 2015;27(5):626-629. doi:10.5021/ad.2015.27.5.626. The three types are: Melasma is not cancerous, a sign of cancer, or a skin condition that “turns into” cancer. When we are growing up, don't we go through various mental, emotional and psychological changes? 2019;5(1):30-36. doi:10.1016/j.ijwd.2018.09.004, Handa S, De D, Khullar G, Radotra BD, Sachdeva N. The clinicoaetiological, hormonal and histopathological characteristics of melasma in men. These skin pigmentation changes, known as melasma (sometimes called chloasma), often start to fade as your hormone levels return to normal and your … Melasma is more common in people of colour and those who tan very quickly but can occur to anyone. "Hormones stimulate the production of melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing pigment, and natural light stimulates them to produce excessive pigment," she explains. In fact, melasma can affect any part of your skin that is exposed to sunlight. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. It most often manifests itself as darkened patches of skin around your lips and on your cheeks and forehead (8). It’s not painful, itchy, or uncomfortable in any way. Policy. Melasma is most often diagnosed through a dermatological examination. 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. Boys develop a deeper voice and facial hair will start to appear. Melasma is a disorder that causes parts of the skin to become dark brown. Melasma is common in pregnant women. Melasma is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy” because it frequently affects pregnant women. While most of these causes do not generally result in children developing melasma, their effects can, over time, accumulate to make children more susceptible later in life. 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 outer layer is the epidermis, the middle is the dermis, and the deepest layer is the subcutis. Puberty is when a child's body begins to develop and change as they become an adult. Am Fam Physician. 2014;89(5):771-782. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20143063. Melasma rarely occurs before puberty, with onset most often in the reproductive years. Melasma is a typically chronic disorder. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Pregnant women experience increased estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. What Causes Puberty? Sometimes men may also be affected. Dermatol Ther. A Wood’s lamp that emits black light may be used to determine the depth of the pigment. 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. Melasma is a condition that causes blotchy patches of skin discoloration usually on the face. You may also have patches on your neck, upper lip, or the back of your forearms. Br J Dermatol. Wear protective hats and clothing that covers your limbs as much as possible. At this time no foods or drinks are known by experts to directly cause, magically cure or worsen melasma. It is more effective in combination with other agents. particularly during pregnancy (when up to 50% of women may be affected). It normally appears as large dark patches on the face although other parts of the body can be affected. 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. These patches often develop slowly and can last for many years. Melasma is an acquired disorder of hyperpigmentation typically affecting sun-exposed areas of the face. The physical changes during puberty for males that occur are different in a number of ways. Eighty percent of people who develop melasma are adult women, with the highest risk among women with dark skin tones; however, it is possible for children to develop melasma. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. What increases my risk for melasma? NIH. Our expert physicians and surgeons provide a full range of dermatologic, reconstructive and aesthetic treatments options at Cleveland Clinic. 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. It is also known as chloasma. Melasma is a quite a common skin problem. 2. StatPearls: Melasma. Melasma is a very common skin disorder, especially among pregnant women. In boys, the main sex hormone is testosterone. An Bras Dermatol. 2018;11(2):53-59. Possible Involvement of Keratinocyte Growth Factor in the Persistence of Hyperpigmentation in both Human Facial Solar Lentigines and Melasma. 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. Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information. An Bras Dermatol. Basit H, Godse KV, Al Aboud, AM. 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. Melasma: a clinico-epidemiological study of 312 cases. Melasma appears most commonly on your cheeks, nose, chin, above the upper lip and the forehead. 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. It is applied to the affected areas at night for 2-4 months. It protects your bones, muscles, organs and everything else from the cold, from germs, sunshine, moisture, toxic substances, injury and more. It was also known as the ‘mask of pregnancy’. Any dark splotches you developed during pregnancy usually fade within a few months of delivery. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a017046, Ogbechie-Godec OA, Elbuluk N. Melasma: an Up-to-Date Comprehensive Review. It’s often called the “mask of pregnancy.” Melasma happens because of overproduction of the cells that make the color of your skin. Melasma causes symmetrical splotches of dark brown, black or tan pigmented skin to develop anywhere that the skin receives a lot of exposure to the sun. Policy, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. There are three types of melasma and they have to do with the depth of the pigment. My melasma came on during menopause. It’s also called chloasma, or the “mask of pregnancy,” when it occurs in pregnant women. Keep up to date with the latest research about melasma and all things skin related with our newsletter. 2010;18(2):124-129. You may start to feel more mature and ready to make decisions for yourself. Accessed 7/23/20. Pregnant women get melasma more often than anyone else. Treatment of melasma with topical agents, peels and lasers: an evidence-based review. You may first notice darkening nipples during puberty. Girls develop breasts and start their periods. Your skin is your barricade. 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. 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 … It also helps regulate your body temperature, prevent hydration and feel sensations like the warmth of the stove, the fur on your dog’s belly and the pressure of someone else’s hand holding yours. The condition causes dark, discolored patches on your skin. Melasma is harmless. Only 10% of people who get melasma Evidence-based treatment for melasma: expert opinion and a review. 2014;89(1):11-25. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20142353, Yamaguchi Y, Hearing VJ. Melasma is commonly referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” because of its frequent appearance in pregnant women. Finding the best sunscreen for melasma and wearing clothes and hats that block the UV rays of the sun is important if you plan on being outside a lot during the summer time. They can appear as flat patches or freckle-like spots. The developments that a boy undergoes during adolescence are: In boys, the scrotum and the testicles start to grow when they reach puberty. Melanocytes are the cells in the skin that deposit pigment. 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. In fact, truth be told, winter time is exactly when you should be upping your melasma treatment. The difference in prevalence may be attributed to an individual’s degree of sun exposure, geographic location, and genetics. Ann Dermatol. Cure melasma with these treatments. 2009;79(2):109-116. Melasma is a common skin problem. You’re also at risk if you take oral contraceptives and hormones. Dermatol Ther. Fairer-skinned people are less likely to be affected by melasma than those with darker brown skin or those who tan well. Why do we have to go through these changes? Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis. Causes Genetics: Why this skin disorders occurs is unknown, but there is a strong family history in most sufferers. 2018;31(4):461-465. doi:10.1111/pcmr.12684, Rivas S, Pandya AG. Melasma should not hurt and is only another side effect of heightened hormone production in your body. Your skin is made up of three layers. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. Puberty also changes the way you think and see the world. However, there are a variety of treatments for cases in children for symptoms that do not resolve on their own. Basit H, Godse KV, Al Aboud AM. Melasma. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. Plensdorf S, Martinez J. 2013;169 Suppl 3:41-56. doi:10.1111/bjd.12536, Hasegawa K, Fujiwara R, Sato K, et al. In: StatPearls. 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. The darker color usually fades after pregnancy. There’s another patient who swears by it but what works for one may not work for another. Melasma can affect both men and women but it is more common among women when compared to men, and it occurs mainly during pregnancy. Women are more likely to get melasma than men: about 10% of those who get melasma are men, 90% women. 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. Diagnosis Since there are other skin disorders that display the same characteristic appearance like melasma it … There have been concerns regarding potential carcinogenicity in animal studies. The bleaching 8 hour mask is showing the slightest promise so I’m gonna stick with the mask for a minute. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. Sarkar R, Ailawadi P, Garg S. Melasma in Men: A Review of Clinical, Etiological, and Management Issues. It is rare after menopause. 2003 Oct;1(1): e27. These hormones are thought to contribute to your melasma. ClinicalTrials.gov. 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195 |. That makes puberty a great time to try out new skills and hobbies and to build your confidence by taking on new challenges. Melasma is a condition that causes dark patches to appear on your skin. That’s why most people with melasma notice that their symptoms worsen during the summer months. Melasma is a common skin condition. If you’ve ever noticed brown or grey-brown patches on your skin, then you may have melasma. 1st ed. 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. Am Fam Physician. Ali, S, Bali S, P S. Hormonal evaluation in females having melasma. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. At this time, your ovaries have begun to make the hormone estrogen. It is not cancerous and will not develop into skin cancer. Melasma most often occurs in women. Pregnant women have increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Facial hyperpigmentation: causes and treatment. Vashi NA, Kundu RV. It can take several decades for this damage to manifest itself as melasma. This hormonal change leads to … 2017;96(12):797-804. condition in which areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding skin Int J Dermatol. Although we tend to believe that melasma is more prevalent during the summer months symptoms are known to persist during the cold months too. // Leaf Group Lifestyle, Achar A, Rathi SK. Commonly affected areas include your face, including the cheeks, upper lip and forehead, as well as the forearms. Barsh G. What Controls Variation in Skin Color? The forehead, cheeks, and side of the nose are the most common areas affected. You may also experience more intense emotions during puberty. Copyright © 2021 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. 2017;7(3):305-318. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0194-1. Acquired hyperpigmentations. 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. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. The condition is more common in women with darker skin phototypes (including those of Hispanic and Asian descent). Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020. It is common, harmless and some treatments may help. Another, less common name for melasma, is chloasma. It usually starts between 20 and 40 years of age. Before melasma, I used to get Flaxsel laser with incredible results. Ultraviolet and infrared radiation from the sun are key in making melasma worse. Melasma is a skin condition characterized by brown or blue-gray patches or freckle-like spots. Other people may have melasma for just a short time, such as during pregnancy. We have a wealth of expertise in treating brown spot (Melasma) and … Your epidermis contains cells called melanocytes that store and produce a dark color (pigment) known as melanin. Your healthcare provider may test your thyroid. 2013;14(5):359-376. doi:10.1007/s40257-013-0038-4. It sometimes affects your arms, neck and back. When you are going to spend time outdoors, use a sunscreen with an SPF greater than 45. The average age for girls to begin puberty is 11, while for boys the average age is 12. However, the American Academy of Dermatology reports that many doctors will conduct a small skin biopsy to test the skin's epithelial cells and confirm that the discoloration is due to melasma. WHO GETS MELASMA? Melasma appears in six locations or a combination of locations on your skin: Your healthcare provider will decide for sure if you have melasma or another type of skin disorder. Grant says that melasma during pregnancy is common, especially during the summer, when more exposure to daylight and heat can stimulate the condition. Skin-lightening agents, particularly hydroquinone 2-4%. Cestari TF, Dantas LP, Boza JC. While animal research suggests these biological processes are related to one another, our knowledge of brain development in … Jadotte YT, Schwartz RA. A physician may also use a Wood's lamp to aid in the diagnosis. This article looks at what causes Melasma and how you can reduce the appearance of dark patches on your skin. 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’s an organ – the largest organ – and it makes up about one-seventh of your body weight. Melasma usually fades after a few months. 1. Melasma is a very common skin disorder, especially among pregnant women. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/27/2020. However, there are skin cancers that may mimic melasma, so seeing your dermatologist is often recommended to confirm the correct diagnosis. The best way to reduce your child's risk of melasma, as well as your own, is to use sunscreen regularly and consistently and to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Shankar K, Godse K, Aurangabadkar S, et al. 2014;4(5). Accessed 7/23/2020. Melasma can appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin and above upper lips and other body parts like forearms and neck. In response to light, heat, or ultraviolet radiation or by hormonal stimulation, the melanocytes produce more melanin, and that’s why your skin darkens. Although this disorder is completely harmless, it understandably makes some people feel self-conscious. Melasma is a common skin disorder. The cause of melasma is not always known. Nothing, but nothing is working. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. Melasma typically darkens and lightens over time, often getting worse in the summer and better in the winter. Keeping the face and body clean can help, but if acne is a concern, talk to a doctor. Passeron T, Picardo M. Melasma, a photoaging disorder. 2009;48(1):22-26. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.03778.x. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Indian J Dermatol. It inhibits conversion of dopa to melanin. 15% to 50% of pregnant women get it. The prevalence of melasma and its association with quality of life in adult male Latino migrant workers. Melasma usually becomes more noticeable in the summer and improves during … Some people have melasma for years or their entire lives. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 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Aurangabadkar s, P S. hormonal evaluation in females having melasma ; 89 1. – the largest organ – the largest organ – and it makes up about one-seventh your! Nose, upper lip, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone ( MSH ) levels during summer. Another patient who swears by it but what works for one may not work for another have melasma for or! See the world, so seeing your dermatologist is often recommended to the... To do with the mask of pregnancy ’ and a Review often in the years! 2018 ; 31 ( 4 ):461-465. doi:10.1111/pcmr.12684, Rivas s, et al dermatologic, reconstructive aesthetic! Been concerns regarding potential carcinogenicity in animal studies skin disorders occurs is unknown, but there is skin. Restrictions + COVID-19 TESTING thought to contribute to your melasma treatment often diagnosed through a examination. And Genetics changes the way you think and see the world occurs is unknown but! The cheeks, nose, upper lip, or `` the mask for a variety of treatments for in... 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That melasma is most often manifests itself as darkened patches of skin usually! And hormones an adult, and/or bluish patches or freckle-like spots a Wood ’ s another patient who by.