Are you concerned about the increasing brown patches on your face? It might be
Melasma is a pigmentary disorder, causing blotchy dark patches to show up on your skin. It
Is also called ‘chloasma’, derived from the Greek word chloazein meaning ‘to be green. It is
more common in women than men and particularly during pregnancy.
What causes melasma?
The exact cause of melasma is still unknown. But some know indications are:
Sun exposure: Ultraviolet rays affect the melanocytes and churn out more melanin
pigment. Hence melasma may get worse in the summer.
Hormonal changes: Birth control pills, pregnancy and hormone therapy (estrogen
and progesterone sensitivity) can trigger melasma. This is why it is called ‘mask of
Hereditary pattern: According to AAD, dark skinned patients are more susceptible to
melasma than fair skinned.
Presentation of melasma: Indication
Common signs of melasma are irregular, serrated brown or gray-brown patches on the face,
these patches most commonly appear on the:
Bridge of the nose
Above the upper lip
Some people also get patches on their forearms or neck.
How do we treat this?
The management of melasma is challenging and requires a long-term treatment plan.
Depending on the natural history of lesions, melasma may be temporary or persistent type.
The temporary type disappears within one year of ending of hormonal stimuli like pregnancy
or oral contraceptive pills. While the persistent type continues to be present even after the
end of hormonal stimuli. Though there are some –
Topical treatment-Most cases of melasma are treated with topical agents, used alone
or in combination
Hydroquinone-it inhibits the conversion of DOPA to melanin by inhibition of the
enzyme tyrosinase. Commonly used in concentrations varying from 2% to 5%. The
depigmentation effects become evident after 5-7 weeks and should be continued for
at least three months.
However, there might be some side effects like erythema and/or irritation.
Kojic acid-potent antioxidant that acts by inhibiting the production of free tyrosinase
Combination therapy-various combinations of different topical agents is being used for a
better therapeutic effect. However, the most extensively and widely used combination is a”
triple combination, a formulation containing HQ, retinoic acid and corticosteroids.
Sun-protection-photoprotective measures like the avoidance of direct sun exposure and
regular use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen is always advised.
Recently there has been an innovative product launched in Indian market called Me-Line
It is a unique line specialized for pigmentation treatment. An innovative and effective
melasma therapy wherein we prepare and treat the skin irrespective of the phototype,
pigmentation problem or the body part.
Some of the active ingredients in the product are:
Appearance of melano-hematic pigmentation