What is melasma and why does it appear?

Although his name is not as popularly known as other skin problems, the truth is that in reality the melasmaIt is characterized by being a skin condition much more common than you think. In fact, its name comes from or derives from the Greek word "melas", Which means dark or black, which could be a clear indicator of what problem we are facing.

Effectively, melasma is a cutaneous pathology that consists of the appearance of dark spots, usually brown, located and distributed mostly in areas that have been exposed to the sun, usually in the area of ​​the face. But it is not the only place in which they appear, since they can also arise in the neck and more strangely in the forearms.

However, these spots can not only appear with a brownish color. It is also possible that the spots turn gray or bluish. Of course, they tend to be asymptomatic, bilateral and symmetric.

It tends to be more common in women than in men. In fact, the statistics are clear in this regard, since they indicate that around 85% of people who present melasma are women. Although it is also true that with the increase in hours that tend to pass to the sun, coupled with the increased risk of the effects of this, the percentage of men affected is increasing.

Not only do they arise in people with white skin and a tendency to blemish. It is also frequent that alterations appear in people with dark or dark skin.

What is melasma?

As we indicated before, it is a problem of the skin that consists of the appearance of brown, gray or bluish spots in the face, neck, shoulders and more rarely in the forearm, especially in areas of the body usually exposed to the sun.

From a medical point of view it is also known by the name of chloasmaor mask of pregnancy. This last name is due to the fact that during pregnancy it is common to appear, as a result of hormonal factors and more specifically of progesterone levels.

It is not a serious condition, which in any case does not endanger the life of the person who suffers, but it is an aesthetic problem for most patients who suffer from it, since the affected skin can present an appearance similar to the one that would have dirty skin and little clean, when in reality it would not be like that.

What are your symptoms?

The most obvious symptom, sign or signal of melasma or chloasma is the appearance of spots on the skin, especially brown or grayish brown that give the impression that the skin is patchy. These spots may also have a bluish color, although it is less common than brownish ones.

However, the most commonly affected area tends to be the area of ​​the forehead, the cheeks, the upper lip and the chin, as well as the nose. If it appears in isolation, the cheek area is usually common.

On the other hand, there are much less common areas of the body, such as the area of ​​the neck, shoulders or arms. In any case, this is the only symptom that appears or appears with melasma.

What are your causes? Why does it appear?

There are different causes that can directly influence the appearance of melasma. In fact, nowadays it is known that there are different factors that would be involved in its development, although originally the precise cause is at times unknown:

  • Genetic predisposition:It is known that having a direct family member affected increases the chances of having it.
  • Exposure to the sun and ultraviolet light:Ultraviolet rays activate the formation of melanin. For this reason melasma tends to appear especially in the areas of the body most exposed to the sun.
  • Hormonal changes:It can appear due to hormonal factors, for example after the consumption of contraceptive drugs due to estrogen levels, or due to pregnancy due to progesterone levels.
  • Certain endocrine diseases:Melasma can become another symptom of an endocrinological disease, such as diabetes mellitus.
  • Stress:Although it is not a direct cause, it is known that it can affect and worsen the melasma that has already appeared.
ThemesDiseases of the skin

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