Melasma is the appearance of skin spots on the part of your face that is exposed to the sun. It is a rather common skin disorder that affects young women with a lighter complexion or olive colored skin for the most part. In the following article, you will learn about the characteristics, causes and natural treatments for Melasma or dark spots on the skin.
Characteristics of Melasma
This skin condition is very related to imbalances in the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. That is why the onset of Melasma is more common in pregnant women as well as women who take birth control or who undergo hormone replacement therapy during menopause. For this condition to appear, it is necessary to have sun exposure; that is why it is commonly seen in women that live in tropical climates and during the summer. Other cases are brought about by high levels of stress, side effects from cosmetics or medicines, heredity or poor functioning of the thyroid hormone.
There is only one symptom of Melasma: the change in the color of facial skin. This can cause suffering or concern associated with our physical appearance. Skin tone disorders are almost always a uniform brown color. These spots appear on the forehead, the cheeks, the nose and the upper lip. They are normally symmetrical or rather they appear in the same manner on both sides of the face.
Medical treatments can include creams that contain kojic acid and azelaic acid, hydroquinone and tretinoin; exfoliation with steroid or chemical topical creams; laser treatments in severe cases; suspension of hormonal treatments that cause the problem or wait for the pregnancy to be over to see if symptoms continue.
After completing the adequate treatment, melasma normally disappears in a few months at the most. The problem can reappear if the woman gets pregnant again or starts to take hormones again. Doctors say that to prevent these spots, a good sunscreen can help quite a bit and at the same time you are helping to stop the appearance of skin cancer and wrinkles.
Home Remedies to Eliminate Dark Spots or Melasma
With just a few ingredients found in your home you can administer good natural treatments to eliminate those brown colored spots that have appeared on your face if you are pregnant, taking birth control or another medicine for menopause. You should know that melasma is brought about by an increase in the production of melanin, which is responsible for giving color to the skin.
Some people say that melasma affects women with dark skin more, there are others who say it affects women with olive-toned skin and others that say that women with pale skin are the most affected by this affliction. The good news is that there are natural remedies that exist to cure this aesthetic problem.
- Homemade Remedy with Bananas: mash up one banana and put this puree on your dark spots for 15 minutes. Repeat this procedure four times per week. Rinse it off with warm water.
- Homemade Remedy with Eggplant: cut one eggplant in slices and take out the pulp. Make a compress or poultice and put it on your skin. Keep it there for 15 minutes and remove it with water. You can do this three times per week.
- Homemade Remedy with Black Balsam: 4 or 5 drops should suffice and these drops should be added to one egg white. Beat this mixture well and apply it to your dark spots twice per day, once in the morning and once at night.
- Homemade Remedy with Hydrogen Peroxide: wipe a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide on your face before going to bed.
- Dark Spot Elimination Mask: mix two tablespoons of powdered milk, 4 tablespoons of bee honey and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice until it forms a homogeneous paste. Spread it on your face and keep it there for about 20 minutes. Wash and apply a layer of natural yogurt. Allow it to act for 10 more minutes and rinse.
- Homemade Remedy of Onion and Vinegar: crush one onion and mix it with a bit of vinegar. Apply this mixture to the dark spots and keep it there for 15 minutes. If it starts burning or if your skin feels irritated, rinse it off immediately.
Tips for Melasma
- People who have a predisposition for suffering from dark spots or melasma because their family members experienced these issues should take additional precautions because this is a hereditary disorder. Avoid the sun and always wear a high factor of sunscreen whenever you go to the beach or the mountains and also everyday. Try not to take birth control pills or undergo other types of hormone replacement therapy.
- It is necessary to be very careful when deciding on a treatment for melasma even when the treatment is a homemade remedy. If it is very abrasive or strong, it could have the opposite effect and it could just make the situation worse.
- The appearance of dark spots happens more often in women between 20 and 50 years of age.
- There is no definitive cure for melasma. However, it is possible to reduce the appearance and color of the spots, which can come back with the next pregnancy, if you start taking birth control again or if you expose your skin to the sun everyday.
- The biggest problem brought about by dark spots is aesthetic and has to do mainly with appearances since it does not carry with it other symptoms nor does it harm the body.
- In some cases, these dark spots may go away without requiring treatment, for instance, after you give birth.
- There are professional treatments out there that eliminate melasma or dark spots that include microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation and laser therapies. These treatments are only advised in the most severe or advanced cases.
- The best way to treat dark spots is by visiting a dermatologist and not letting too much time go by because you can improve your appearance in a matter of weeks.
Images courtesy of Sicchickk 71, Edwin & Telly Tofslie, trec_lit, Ophelie Baudelaire, Michael Chen, Greg Peverill Conti.