Who is affected by Melasma?

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Melasma is most commonly found in women with darker skin. However this does not completely rule out your chances of getting the condition if you are male or have pale skin.

Melasma in Women

It is believed that melasma is caused by increased levels of oestrogen in the blood. Because oestrogen is primarily a female hormone, this makes women much more likely to develop the condition than men.

It is normally brought on by changes in hormones, which can be brought about by pregnancy, contraceptive pills or patches, and hormone replacement medication. As a result of this it can often be reversed either after pregnancy or if your medication is altered.

Melasma and Skin Colour

Although it is not fully understood why people with darker natural skin tones are more likely to develop melasma. It is believed by some that this is as a result of the increased levels of melanin already in the body. Because the levels are increased, the body may be more susceptible to overproduction.

As a result of this people from Hispanic, North African, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean backgrounds are much more likely to develop melasma than people with pale skin are. However this does not make it impossible for pale skinned people to develop melasma, particularly if they have prolonged sun exposure.

Melasma in Men

Although it is rare for men to develop melasma they do account for 10 % of cases, meaning that it is possible. Although melasma is commonly associated with female hormones there are other factors that can cause it. For example, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause melasma in men. It is also believed that certain medications and thyroid dysfunction can cause melasma in men.

Melasma in men is identical to the condition in women. This means that it usually appears on the face and that it appears in certain patterns. Melasma begins as a small brown patch of skin, which gradually worsens over time.

Melasma in men is also treated using the same methods used to treat melasma in women. This entails a short term treatment using bleaching creams, which can be followed by more severe treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy treatment.

Melasma and Age

As melasma is primarily associated with hormonal changes it does not usually occur before puberty. The most common age to develop melasma is between the ages of twenty and forty- five. Once you have reached menopause you are less likely to develop melasma unless you are undergoing treatment for hormone replacement.

Melasma and Pregnancy

Melasma is quite common during pregnancy and can effect up to 70 % of pregnant women. This is due to the hormone changes that your body goes through in order to prepare itself for childbirth.

Melasma in pregnancy is usually temporary. It should not be treated during pregnancy or breast feeding as the effects of treatment on pregnancy are unknown.

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