It is a common acquired cosmetic disorder characterised by dark brown patches on sun exposed areas of face like cheeks, nose, forehead, upper lips, chin, rarely neck and forearms. It is common in females.
It is multi factorial like sun exposure, familial, cosmetics, pregnancy, oral contraceptive pills or thyroid disorders.
It is known for recurrence and hence dermatological treatments need maintenance and counselling for maintenance on part of patients.
One of the key treatment and maintenance for photo protection are:
- Avoid peak sunlight (11am – 3pm)
- Physical protection (scarves, hats, clothes)
- Sun screens as prescribed by your dermatologist for your skin type.
Medical Treatment: All topical treatments should be supervised by the dermatologist time to time.
- Topical applications containing hydro quinine, tretinoin with/without steroid as advised for short durations; glycolic acids (5-12%), kojic acid (2%), arbutin, azelaic acid, Vitamin C, lizonce and Vitamin E.
Over counter use of melasma treatment is dangerous and can lead to aggravation/ other long standing side effects and patients are strictly counselled not to try and instead go for medical help.
- Recently oral treatments have come up like the Oral Tranexemic acid, oral antioxidants for 6 months to 1 year.
- Procedures in melasma tried are chemical peels, lasers.