Melasma is a condition that can affect patients of any age. It presents as dark patches across the face which are typically darker during the summer due to sun exposure and lighter during the colder months. Melasma patches commonly affect the forehead, cheeks, upper lip areas and the areas around the eyes.
What Are the Causes of Melasma?
Melasma, in some cases, is also known as pregnancy mask. This is because it often appears during pregnancy or in women who ingest oral contraceptives. In these cases it is largely due to hormone fluctuations, particular estrogen and progesterone.
Genetically, each person’s skin type varies in the amount of melancytes present. This causes a predisposition to various pigment conditions when the skin is exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The ultraviolet rays cause oxidation of the skin’s lipid component which leads to free radical production. The melancytes then react in order to produce more melanin which is a defense mechanism to prevent the oxidation process.