Melasma is thought to be the stimulation of melanocytes (cells in the dermal layer, which transfer the pigment melanin to the keratinocytes of skin) when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet light from the sun. Small amounts of sun exposure can make melasma return to the skin after it has faded, which is why people with melasma often get it again and again, particularly in the summer
Pregnant women often get melasma, or chloasma, known as the mask of pregnancy. Birth-control pills and hormone replacement therapy also can trigger melasma. The discoloration usually disappears spontaneously over a period of several months after giving birth or stopping the oral contraceptives or hormone treatment.
Causes of melasma
There are two main causes of melasma: radiation, whether ultraviolet, visible light, or infrared (heat) light; and hormones.
Ultraviolet and infrared radiation from the sun are key in making melasma worse.
How to protect skin from melasma?
- Protect skin from sun damage
- Minimize estrogen consumption
- Establish comprehensive skincare routine