Seeing Your Doctor about Melasma


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Although melasma is not a dangerous condition, you should always see your doctor if you notice any changes to your skin or body. You may be certain that you have melasma, but it is important that this be confirmed by a medical professional. This will rule out any other conditions, which if left could have more serious effects than melasma.

Symptoms of Melasma

Melasma does not have any symptoms other than the discolouration of the skin. This may make it difficult to spot at first. A thing to look out for is the appearance of small areas of discolouration. This is likely to be brown in colour and can be mistaken for a mole. The discolouration is symmetrical ore often than not and is usually found on the cheeks, forehead and upper lip although it can be found on other areas of the face. Melasma spreads gradually becoming larger and more pronounced the longer that it is left.

Diagnosis of Melasma

The diagnosis for melasma is usually simple. It is often made with just a physical examination by your doctor. In some cases, further testing may be required to rule out other conditions. This is usually the case if your melasma is not typical of the condition or if you have a high risk factor of developing other conditions, which cause skin discolouration.

Your doctor will normally diagnose melasma after a physical examination. This is based only on appearance and does not involve any invasive testing. Sometimes a Wood’s lamp may be used to further examine the skin. This allows the doctor to see the discolouration more clearly and helps them to confirm the diagnosis of melasma.

Talking to Your Doctor about Melasma

Once you have been diagnosed as having melasma, it is important that you find out what is causing the condition. This may be simple if you are on certain medications, which are known to cause the condition. If this is not the case, it may be more complicated.

It is important that you are honest with your doctor about any medications that you are taking including any supplements or over the counter drugs. You should also be honest about your diet and lifestyle.

As melasma can be caused by a weakened immune system, it is important that you find the cause to rule out any underlying condition. This means that you may have to make some changes. For example changing your diet to a more healthy and nutritionally balanced plan can help to rule out nutritional deficiency as the cause of your melasma.

If it is found that, certain medications are the cause of your melasma you may wish to speak to your doctor about discontinuing these. You should always be open about this so that your doctor can give you professional advice on what medications you are able to stop and if there are any alternatives that you can use. You should never stop medication against the advice of your doctor as this can lead to severe problems.


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