Melasma is a dark skin discolouration that looks like brown or grey tan patches. It sometimes occurs with hormonal changes. It is particularly common in women and especially in pregnant women. The skin condition becomes worse when exposed to the sunlight as it starts producing more melanin. Usually, these dark patches are spotted on the chin, cheeks, upper lip and forehead. However, it can be cured with over the counter treatment and with the help of some home remedies for melasma.
What should you do?
- First, consult your doctor and make sure it is melasma.
- Hormone control medication can be the cause of it. So, consult your doctor if you are taking one.
- Early detection means easy and fast treatment. So, look out for any sign of melasma.
Over The Counter Treatment
It is one of the first lines of treatment for melasma. It is available in 2 strength of 2% and 4%. While 2% is available over the counter, 4% is prescription only medication. Hydroquinone inhibits tyrosinase enzyme that is involved in the production of melanin. And in a result, treats melasma.
How to use:
Use it before bedtime as directed in the leaflet. Before using, do a patch test first. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Use a pea size amount to cover your entire face down to your neck. Use sunscreen in the daytime. It starts showing results in 4-6 weeks.
2. Glycolic Acid
It is used to treat early stage of melasma. It comes in 2 over the counter strength of 6% and 12%. The Higher strength of glycolic acid is used for a chemical peel at spa and clinics. It smooths out fine lines and makes skin younger.
How to use:
Start with a low concentration of 6%. Use it before bed time. Wash your face with mild cleanser and apply a pea size amount on entire face. It tingles after application for a few minutes. If it persists and feels like burning then wash your face and consult a doctor.
Retin A is a strong skin treatment as it increases the cell turnover. In result, makes skin appear much younger and porcelain smooth. It has a gold standard in anti ageing treatment. This treatment can’t be used during pregnancy.
As effective it is in many skin treatment, you should know how to properly use tretinoin treatment with fewer side effects.
4. Combination Medication
Tri-Luma, a Fluocinolone-Hydroquinone-Tretinoin Topical combination cream is the advanced treatment and should be used under doctor guidance.
How to use:
Before using, do a patch test first. Apply a small amount on the clean uncut area. Wait for 24 hours for any sign of side effects. If there is no other reaction than a red skin then proceed with the treatment.
Use it before bed time. Wash your face with mild cleanser. Apply a thin layer on the affected area including 1/2 inch of normal skin. Apply a good moisturiser in daytime. Don’t forget to apply SPF 30 while out in the sun.
Tips to remember:
- Effect of these treatments is gradual.
- These medications are not the complete cure of melasma.
- Avoid direct sun exposure to make the treatment effective.
- Wear SPF of 30 with UVA and UVB protection before stepping out in the sun.
- Avoid any medication that triggers melasma including hormonal.