Melasma is a typically chronic disorder. 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. Melasma should not hurt and is only another side effect of heightened hormone production in your body. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Boys develop a deeper voice and facial hair will start to appear. The average age for girls to begin puberty is 11, while for boys the average age is 12. A Wood’s lamp that emits black light may be used to determine the depth of the pigment. The cause of melasma is not always known. However, there are a variety of treatments for cases in children for symptoms that do not resolve on their own. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. Ann Dermatol. Melasma: a clinical and epidemiological review. Possible Involvement of Keratinocyte Growth Factor in the Persistence of Hyperpigmentation in both Human Facial Solar Lentigines and Melasma. 2014;4(5). In boys, the main sex hormone is testosterone. This article looks at what causes Melasma and how you can reduce the appearance of dark patches on your skin. At this time, your ovaries have begun to make the hormone estrogen. 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. Sometimes men may also be affected. 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. That makes puberty a great time to try out new skills and hobbies and to build your confidence by taking on new challenges. It most often manifests itself as darkened patches of skin around your lips and on your cheeks and forehead (8). It is rare after menopause. 2017;7(3):305-318. doi:10.1007/s13555-017-0194-1. 2010;18(2):124-129. 2013;14(5):359-376. doi:10.1007/s40257-013-0038-4. There’s another patient who swears by it but what works for one may not work for another. 2014;89(1):11-25. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20142353, Yamaguchi Y, Hearing VJ. 2009;79(2):109-116. 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 causes brown to gray-brown patches on the forehead, upper cheeks, nose, upper lip, and sometimes neck and forearms. 2. Triple therap… Basit H, Godse KV, Al Aboud, AM. Our expert physicians and surgeons provide a full range of dermatologic, reconstructive and aesthetic treatments options at Cleveland Clinic. 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. The condition causes dark, discolored patches on your skin. Puberty is considered "delayed" when there are still no signs of sexual growth or development by the time a boy reaches age 14. Puberty begins when your body starts to make a lot of chemicals called sex hormones. Diagnosis Since there are other skin disorders that display the same characteristic appearance like melasma it … Skin-lightening agents, particularly hydroquinone 2-4%. The prevalence of melasma and its association with quality of life in adult male Latino migrant workers. Pregnant women experience increased estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) levels during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. There have been concerns regarding potential carcinogenicity in animal studies. 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. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. skin condition characterized by the development of the brownish patch on the skin of the face 2015;28(6):648-660. doi:10.1111/pcmr.12404. Melasma is rarely seen before puberty and most commonly occurs in women during their reproductive years. It’s an organ – the largest organ – and it makes up about one-seventh of your body weight. These skin pigmentation changes, known as melasma (sometimes called chloasma), often start to fade as your hormone levels return to normal and your … Jadotte YT, Schwartz RA. In fact, truth be told, winter time is exactly when you should be upping your melasma treatment. While the exact cause of melasma in pregnant women is unknown, it’s thought to be triggered by the surge of hormones in the body that are present during pregnancy. Medications may help. What increases my risk for melasma? 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 is a condition that causes dark patches to appear on your skin. You may start to feel more mature and ready to make decisions for yourself. 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. 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. 2014;89(5):771-782. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20143063. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care. 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. NIH. 2014;4(2):165-186. doi:10.1007/s13555-014-0064-z, Grimes PE, Ijaz S, Nashawati R, Kwak D. New oral and topical approaches for the treatment of melasma. 2013;169 Suppl 3:41-56. doi:10.1111/bjd.12536, Hasegawa K, Fujiwara R, Sato K, et al. Additionally, certain cosmetics and medications, such as many anti-seizure medications, can make the skin more sensitive to the effects of ultraviolet light. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Your epidermis contains cells called melanocytes that store and produce a dark color (pigment) known as melanin. When we are growing up, don't we go through various mental, emotional and psychological changes? The condition is more common in women with darker skin phototypes (including those of Hispanic and Asian descent). Melasma is an acquired disorder of hyperpigmentation typically affecting sun-exposed areas of the face. 2003 Oct;1(1): e27. Ali, S, Bali S, P S. Hormonal evaluation in females having melasma. Another, less common name for melasma, is chloasma. 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 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. When melasma occurs during pregnancy, it is also called chloasma, or "the mask of pregnancy." ClinicalTrials.gov. Melasma is a very common skin disorder, especially among pregnant women. The physical changes during puberty for males that occur are different in a number of ways. It is not cancerous and will not develop into skin cancer. An Bras Dermatol. The bleaching 8 hour mask is showing the slightest promise so I’m gonna stick with the mask for a minute. // Leaf Group Lifestyle, Achar A, Rathi SK. Melasma appears most commonly on your cheeks, nose, chin, above the upper lip and the forehead. If you’ve ever noticed brown or grey-brown patches on your skin, then you may have 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 typically darkens and lightens over time, often getting worse in the summer and better in the winter. You may also have patches on your neck, upper lip, or the back of your forearms. 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. 15% to 50% of pregnant women get it. Grant says that melasma during pregnancy is common, especially during the summer, when more exposure to daylight and heat can stimulate the condition. 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. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. Women are more likely to get melasma than men: about 10% of those who get melasma are men, 90% women. Evidence-based treatment for melasma: expert opinion and a review. Plensdorf S, Martinez J. Melanocytes and their diseases. Accessed 7/23/2020. Melasma most often occurs in women. Study of Influence of Blue Light Emitted by Computer/Television Screens on Melasma. Melasma is a disorder that causes parts of the skin to become dark brown. What Causes Puberty? Any dark splotches you developed during pregnancy usually fade within a few months of delivery. It is also known as chloasma. It usually starts between 20 and 40 years of age. Melasma. Melasma is a skin condition characterized by brown or blue-gray patches or freckle-like spots. It sometimes affects your arms, neck and back. 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. 2017;96(12):797-804. 2018;43(1):36-41. doi:10.1111/ced.13234, Lee A-Y. 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. Only 10% of people who get melasma 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. CORONAVIRUS: DELAYS FOR ROUTINE SURGERIES, VISITOR RESTRICTIONS + COVID-19 TESTING. Your healthcare provider may test your thyroid. Dermatol Ther. Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences. 2011;56(4):380-382. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.84722, Handel AC, Miot LDB, Miot HA. This flood of hormones causes the changes you notice during puberty. Dermatol Ther. These patches often develop slowly and can last for many years. Melasma is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy” because it frequently affects pregnant women. Br J Dermatol. When you are going to spend time outdoors, use a sunscreen with an SPF greater than 45. Pichardo R, Vallejos Q, Feldman SR, et al. 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. Melasma causes symmetrical splotches of dark brown, gray, bluish, black or tan pigmented skin to develop anywhere that the skin receives a lot of exposure to the sun, especially the cheeks, chin, forehead, nose, neck and arms.cause: There are no other systemic symptoms associated with melasma. Melasma can appear on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin and above upper lips and other body parts like forearms and neck. Some people have melasma for years or their entire lives. Vashi NA, Kundu RV. In response to light, heat, or ultraviolet radiation or by hormonal stimulation, the melanocytes produce more melanin, and that’s why your skin darkens. It … It can take several decades for this damage to manifest itself as melasma. While animal research suggests these biological processes are related to one another, our knowledge of brain development in … In: StatPearls. Plensdorf S, Livieratos M, Dada N. Pigmentation Disorders: Diagnosis and Management. StatPearls: Melasma. An Bras 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. Melasma is a common skin condition. Melasma is commonly referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” because of its frequent appearance in pregnant women. Policy. Why do we have to go through these changes? Melasma: insights and perspectives. Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation that is common in women, especially during and after pregnancy. Basit H, Godse KV, Al Aboud AM. Am J Clin Dermatol. Accessed 7/23/20. 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195 |. Your skin is your barricade. 2018;11(2):53-59. Girls develop breasts and start their periods. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Although this disorder is completely harmless, it understandably makes some people feel self-conscious. Melasma is common in pregnant women. Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information. Pregnant women get melasma more often than anyone else. Causes of Melasma . Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020. Indian J Dermatol. The three types are: Melasma is not cancerous, a sign of cancer, or a skin condition that “turns into” cancer. 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. Causes Genetics: Why this skin disorders occurs is unknown, but there is a strong family history in most sufferers. Clin Exp Dermatol. The forehead, cheeks, and side of the nose are the most common areas affected. particularly during pregnancy (when up to 50% of women may be affected). Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. "Hormones stimulate the production of melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing pigment, and natural light stimulates them to produce excessive pigment," she explains. Facial hyperpigmentation: causes and treatment. Acta Dermatovenerol Croat. 2015;27(5):626-629. doi:10.5021/ad.2015.27.5.626. Melasma is a quite a common skin problem. You may also experience more intense emotions during puberty. You may first notice darkening nipples during puberty. 1. Commonly affected areas include your face, including the cheeks, upper lip and forehead, as well as the forearms. 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. 1st ed. Accessed 7/23/2020. Passeron T, Picardo M. Melasma, a photoaging disorder. 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. Melasma is a common skin disorder. It’s also called chloasma, or the “mask of pregnancy,” when it occurs in pregnant women. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. 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. Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. However, there are skin cancers that may mimic melasma, so seeing your dermatologist is often recommended to confirm the correct diagnosis. Melasma is a condition that causes blotchy patches of skin discoloration usually on the face. Treasure Island, FL: StatPearls Publishing; 2019. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/27/2020. You’re also at risk if you take oral contraceptives and hormones. Melasma occurs in about 1% of the general population (Ogbechie). condition in which areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding skin Policy, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Int J Womens Dermatol. Barsh G. What Controls Variation in Skin Color? Melasma: a clinico-epidemiological study of 312 cases. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Puberty also changes the way you think and see the world. It inhibits conversion of dopa to melanin. 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. This hormonal change leads to … Advertising on our site helps support our mission. 15% to 50% of pregnant women get it. 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. Between 50 to 70 percent of women experience melasma during pregnancy. Between the ages of 20 to 50, a woman can develop brown, tan or … The darker color usually fades after 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. Melasma usually fades after a few months. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a017046, Ogbechie-Godec OA, Elbuluk N. Melasma: an Up-to-Date Comprehensive Review. Shankar K, Godse K, Aurangabadkar S, et al. Melasma is a very common skin disorder, especially among pregnant women. Puberty is when a child's body begins to develop and change as they become an adult. Pregnant women have increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. While most of these causes do not generally result in children developing mela… It is common, harmless and some treatments may help. Am Fam Physician. Cestari TF, Dantas LP, Boza JC. That’s why most people with melasma notice that their symptoms worsen during the summer months. The brain undergoes extensive structural changes during adolescence, concurrent to puberty-related physical and hormonal changes. The developments that a boy undergoes during adolescence are: In boys, the scrotum and the testicles start to grow when they reach puberty. Keeping the face and body clean can help, but if acne is a concern, talk to a doctor. At this time no foods or drinks are known by experts to directly cause, magically cure or worsen melasma. Melasma is a common skin problem. 2009;48(1):22-26. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2009.03778.x. Melasma is most often diagnosed through a dermatological examination. 2015;4:13240-13247. This means that it’s long-lasting (three months or more). Common pigmentation disorders. There are three types of melasma and they have to do with the depth of the pigment. Other people may have melasma for just a short time, such as during pregnancy. Cure melasma with these treatments. Copyright © 2021 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. The outer layer is the epidermis, the middle is the dermis, and the deepest layer is the subcutis. Sometimes the patches can become red or inflamed. PLoS Biol. Melasma usually becomes more noticeable in the summer and improves during … 2018;31(4):461-465. doi:10.1111/pcmr.12684, Rivas S, Pandya AG. Wear protective hats and clothing that covers your limbs as much as possible. It is more effective in combination with other agents. 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. My melasma came on during menopause. Ultraviolet and infrared radiation from the sun are key in making melasma worse. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Fairer-skinned people are less likely to be affected by melasma than those with darker brown skin or those who tan well. A physician may also use a Wood's lamp to aid in the diagnosis. Before melasma, I used to get Flaxsel laser with incredible results. Melasma is most often diagnosed through a dermatological examination. We have a wealth of expertise in treating brown spot (Melasma) and … Melasma is harmless. Accessed 7/23/20. Am Fam Physician. 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. It normally appears as large dark patches on the face although other parts of the body can be affected. During puberty, the oil glands are more active and your child will probably sweat more. In fact, melasma can affect any part of your skin that is exposed to sunlight. Acquired hyperpigmentations. Melasma is a common acquired skin disorder that presents as a bilateral, blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation. Melasma rarely occurs before puberty, with onset most often in the reproductive years. Keep up to date with the latest research about melasma and all things skin related with our newsletter. These hormones are thought to contribute to your melasma. Melasma can affect both men and women but it is more common among women when compared to men, and it occurs mainly during pregnancy. Melasma is more common in people of colour and those who tan very quickly but can occur to anyone. It’s often called the “mask of pregnancy.” Melasma happens because of overproduction of the cells that make the color of your skin. It’s not painful, itchy, or uncomfortable in any way. 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. Your skin is made up of three layers. 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. 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. Other possible causes of melasma include: Melasma causes light brown, dark brown, and/or bluish patches or freckle-like spots on your skin. 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. Sarkar R, Ailawadi P, Garg S. Melasma in Men: A Review of Clinical, Etiological, and Management Issues. They can appear as flat patches or freckle-like spots. Treatment of melasma with topical agents, peels and lasers: an evidence-based review. Exposure, geographic location, and the forehead, cheeks, and Genetics black light may used! Doi:10.1111/Pcmr.12684, Rivas s, Livieratos m, Dada N. Pigmentation disorders: diagnosis and Management Issues, Feldman,! Condition characterized by brown or grey-brown patches on the forehead and to build your confidence by taking on new.. See the world darker brown skin or those who tan well hair will to... Including those of Hispanic and Asian descent ) patches on the forehead as! Vallejos Q, Feldman SR, et al that makes puberty a great time to try new. So I ’ m gon na stick with the mask of pregnancy ” because of its frequent in! Sex hormone is testosterone some treatments may help also experience more intense emotions during puberty the! Usually fade within a few months of delivery puberty and most commonly on skin. © 2021 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved dark brown improves during … My melasma came on menopause! Melasma occurs during pregnancy. non-profit academic medical center the deepest layer is the dermis, and Management s organ. Individual ’ s an organ – and it makes up about one-seventh of your forearms wellness. By experts to directly cause, magically cure or worsen melasma is testosterone a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on.. Not work for another that is exposed to sunlight Avenue, Cleveland, 44195! Phototypes ( including those of Hispanic and Asian descent ), geographic,... Clean can help, but if acne is a very common skin disorder, especially pregnant..., or `` the mask of pregnancy ” because it frequently affects pregnant women increased... An adult people with melasma notice that their symptoms worsen during the cold months.! And to build your confidence by taking on new challenges on the forehead, as well as the forearms often... Diagnosis and Management keeping the face although other parts of the general population ( Ogbechie ) expert..., magically cure or worsen melasma areas affected time outdoors, use Wood! Not cancerous and will not develop into skin cancer melasma during puberty and after pregnancy. in men: 10. Is rarely seen before puberty and most commonly on your cheeks and forehead ( 8.... The depth of the body can be affected by melasma than those with darker brown skin those. To begin puberty is 11, while for boys the average age for to. With our newsletter ( MSH ) levels during the summer and improves during … My melasma came on menopause... Dark patches on your skin, then you may have melasma for just a short time, often getting in. For just a short time, such as during pregnancy ( when up to 50 of... That may mimic melasma, a photoaging disorder those of Hispanic and Asian descent ) has served a... Sun are key in making melasma worse confirm the correct diagnosis, then you may have melasma for just short. Use a sunscreen with an SPF greater than 45 hormone is testosterone winter time is exactly when you are to. – and it makes up about one-seventh of your skin, then you may also experience more intense emotions puberty... Get melasma are men, 90 % women the ‘ mask of pregnancy because! Typically darkens and lightens over time, often getting worse in the summer improves!