Melasma is a common skin disorder which affects mainly women with lighter or olive complexion. The result is the appearance of brown to gray-brown patches on the skin exposed to the sun, mainly on the face. The cause for this disorder is closely tied to the imbalance of the female hormones progesterone and estrogen, which is why it’s more likely to affect pregnant women, women who are on birth control, or women undergoing hormone replacement therapy during menopause. Besides the hormonal imbalance, another factor necessary for the appearance of melasma is sun exposure – that is why there are more cases noted in places with tropical climates, or during the summer. There are other variables that could contribute to this condition, for example, high levels of stress, side effects from cosmetics or medicines, heredity or thyroid problems.
Melasma has only one symptom: the skin on your face changes color. Almost always, the skin turns a uniform brown color, and the patches appear symmetrically on both sides of the face. The most commonly affected areas are the forehead, the cheeks, the nose, and the upper lip.
Obviously, the appearance of spots on your skin can lead to all sorts of worries. However, melasma has no negative impact on the body: it’s only an aeasthetic problem. There are treatments that can make the dark spots disappear in a few months. Some of the medical treatments for the condition are: creams with kojic acid and azelaic acid, hydroquinone and tretinoin; exfoliation with steroid or chemical topical creams; laser treatments in severe cases; suspension of hormonal treatments that cause the problem. In the case of a pregnancy, it’s necessary to wait for it to be over to be able to determine whether the symptoms persist or not.
These treatments can help you get rid of the spots in a few months. However, they don’t guarantee the melasma won’t make a reappearance if you get pregnant again, or if you continue the hormonal treatments. According to the doctors, the use of sunscreen can go a long way in preventing this. Sunscreen has other benefits as well: it helps stop the appearance of skin cancer and wrinkles.
Home remedies to eliminate dark spots or melasma
Melasma is caused by the increased levels of melanin, which is what gives your skin its color. The research regarding which people are most likely to be affected is contradictory: according to some studies, it’s women with dark skin, others say it’s women with olive-toned skin, and others still that it’s women with pale skin. However, no matter the color of your skin, there are nature-based, homemade remedies that will help deal with this aesthetic problem. So, those of you who have acquired this condition as a result of a pregnancy, birth control pills, or menopause treatments, this is the solution for you.
Homemade remedy with bananas
Apply a puree prepared by mashing up one banana on your spots. Leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Repeat four times per week.
Homemade remedy with eggplant
Cut one eggplant in slices and take out the pulp. Prepare a compress or poultice and apply on your skin. Keep it there for 15 minutes. Use water to remove it. You can repeat this three times a week.
Homemade remedy with black balsam
Add 4-5 drops of black balsam in one egg white. Beat the egg white well and apply it on your skin. Do this twice a day: in the morning, and at night.
Homemade remedy with hydrogen peroxide
Soak a cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide and use it to wipe your face before going to bed.
Dark spot elimination mask
Make a homogeneous paste out of 2 tablespoons of powdered milk, 4 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Apply it on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Wash and apply a layer of natural yogurt. Rinse after 10 more minutes.
Homemade remedy of onion and vinegar
Crush one onion and mix it with a bit of vinegar. Apply it one the spots and leave it on for 15 minutes. If you experience a burning sensation, or if your skin becomes irritated, rinse it off a once.
Melasma is a hereditary condition, so if a family member has had experiences with this issue, then there are a few precautions you need to take. Avoid the sun as much as possible. Wear a good quality, high-factor sunscreen everyday, especially whenever you’re at the beach or on the mountain. If possible, avoid taking birth control pills or undergoing hormone replacement therapies.
Be careful when you decide which treatment to apply, even if it’s a homemade one. You could worsen the condition if the treatment is too abrasive or too strong. Whichever way you go, a definitive cure for melasma does not exist. There are only ways to reduce its appearance and the color of the spots. In some cases, the spots can disappear on their own, for example, after giving birth. In other, more severe cases, you may consider professional treatments, like microdermabrasion, chemical exfoliation and laser therapies. The important bit is to act quickly: visit a dermatologist as soon as you notice the spots appearing and you can make them go away in just a few weeks. Melasma’s only negative effect is an aesthetic one: it has no other symptoms and it doesn’t harm the body in any way.
*This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances.