Causes of Melasma


Find Clinics offering Treatment for Melasma in London & UK »

Several factors have been found to cause melasma, and these are often found in combination with each other in those who suffer from the condition.

Melasma and Hormones

Melasma has been associated with hormones in the female body. It is believed that changes in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone in the body can lead to the overproduction of melanin. This is because as your hormone levels increase the skin cells are stimulated causing them to produce more melanin, this causes your skin to darken in certain areas leading to melasma. This means that pregnancy can cause melasma and that the condition is normally reversed once that you have given birth.

The contraceptive pill also changes the hormone levels in your body by regulating them. This change can cause melasma in very rare cases. The condition normally reverses itself once you have stopped taking the contraceptive pill and you may be advised to use a different type of contraception to prevent further outbreaks.

Hormone replacement therapy can cause melasma. This can be extremely aggravating especially if you have to take hormone replacement drugs for medical reasons. The melasma will generally reverse itself once you stop taking your medication, however if you are unable to do so you should not put your health at risk. You should speak to your doctor about the possibility of lowering your dosage or getting a prescription for bleaching cream.

Melasma and Sun Exposure

Melasma can be caused by exposing your skin to high levels of sunlight. The sun triggers your cells to produce melanin in order to protect your skin from its harmful rays. However, in some cases too much melanin can be produced in a certain area, which causes melasma to develop. You should always protect your skin from the sun using a sun cream of at least SPF fifteen. If you have melasma, you should protect it from the sun as much as possible by using a strong sun cream and wearing a hat to shade your face.

It is also believed that other sources of light that contains UV rays can cause melasma. This means that UV lights and fluorescent lighting can also stimulate the skin cells to produce melanin and cause melasma.

Other Factors that can Cause Melasma

There are other factors that are believed to cause melasma. Certain medications have been known to cause the condition. If you believe that, your medication is causing melasma you should speak to your doctor about it. They may be able to recommend a different type of medication or prescribe you with creams to reduce the appearance of your melasma.

If you have a weakened immune system, you are more likely to develop melasma. This means that if you are suffering from another illness or if you have a poor diet, you are at risk of developing melasma. It is therefore important that you see your doctor about the condition as soon as it develops. This will enable them to assess if there are any underlying causes of your melasma.

Is Melasma Contagious?

Melasma is not contagious as it is caused by the excess production of melanin rather than a form of infection. This means that you do not have to avoid skin contact with others if you have melasma.

Whilst it is not contagious, melasma is believed to be genetic. This means that if your close relatives suffer from melasma you are more likely to suffer from it yourself. If this is the case, there are some preventative measures that you can take, such as protecting your skin from sunlight to avoid developing the condition yourself.


« What is Melasma? Where can Melasma Appear? »