Causes and risk factors of Melasma
It isn’t totally clear what causes melasma. Darker-skinned individuals are more at risk than those with fair skin. Estrogen and progesterone sensitivity are also associated with the condition. This means birth control pills, pregnancy, and hormone therapy can all trigger melasma. Stress and thyroid disease are also thought to be causes of melasma.
Additionally, sun exposure can cause melasma because ultraviolet rays affect the cells that control pigment (melanocytes).
How is melasma diagnosed?
A visual exam of the affected area is often enough to diagnose melasma. To rule out specific causes, your healthcare professional might also perform some tests.
One testing technique is a Wood’s lamp examination. This is a special kind of light that’s held up to your skin. It allows your healthcare professional to check for bacterial and fungal infections and determine how many layers of skin the melasma affects. To check for any serious skin conditions, they might also perform a biopsy. This involves removing a small piece of the affected skin for testing.
Is melasma treatable?
For some women, melasma disappears on its own. This typically occurs when it’s caused by pregnancy or birth control pills.
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Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research