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Melasma - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

Melasma in Urdu

یہ جلد کی رنگت تبدیل ہونے کی بیماری ہے جو کہ سورج کی روشنی کا سامنا کرنے کے باعث سامنے آتی ہے۔ میلازما سے زیادہ تر ماتھے، گال، ہونثوں کا اوپری حصہ اور ٹھوڑی کی جلد متاثر ہوتی ہے۔ لیکن یہ سورج کا سامنا کرنے والے دیگر اعضا پر بھی اثر انداز ہو سکتا ہے۔ یہ جلد پر گہری رنگت کے دھبوں کی صورت میں ظاہر ہوسکتی ہے جو الگ الگ بھی ہو سکتے یا بہت سے دھبے مل کر ایک بڑا دھبہ بنا سکتے ہیں۔ ماہرین میلازما کو سورج کی روشنی اور جسم میں ہونے والی ہارمونل تبدیلیوں کا خمیازہ گردانتے ہیں۔ حمل کے دوران یا ہارمون ریپلیسمنٹ تھراپی کی وجہ سے میلازما کا سامنا کرنا پڑ سکتا ہے۔ اگرچہ یہ بیماری کسی تکلیف کا باعث نہیں بنتی لیکن کاسمیٹک مسائل نمودار ہو سکتے ہیں۔ اس کے علاج کے لیے خاص قسم کی کریموں کا استعمال کروایا جاتا ہے جس کے ساتھ ساتھ سورج کی روشنی سے بچنا انتہائی اہم ہے۔ 

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Summary about Melasma in English

Melasma is a pigmentation disorder that involves sun-exposed skin areas. This condition appears as overly pigmented spots on the skin. These spots could merge with each other or could appear dotted all around. These spots appear on skin areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. The most common places are the cheeks, chin, upper lip and forhead; nevertheless, they might appear on other sun-exposed areas. Doctors have associated melasma to exposure to the sun, hormone administrations and changes like that experienced in Hormone Replacement Therapy and pregnancy. The majority of the people who have melasma also have a history of overexposure to sun. However, researchers suspect that heat might also be a factor. Melasma cream could be used to treat this condition. Melasma is treated with a certain melasma cream.

 The urdu meaning of Melasma is "Kalay daagh".

Symptoms of Melasma

Melasma basically is characterized by discolored skin patches that are darker than the surrounding skin. It normally affects the face and occurs in a matching pattern on both sides. However, it can also occur on other body areas that are also exposed to the sun.

These patches typically manifest on these areas on the face:

  • forehead
  • cheeks
  • nose bridge
  • chin

The neck and forearms can also be affected by melasma. The discoloration does not itself cause any serious pain or harm. However, it can have negative psychological consequences, especially on the person’s self-esteem and body image.

A few indications and symptoms of melasma include:

  • patches of discoloration on 
  • matching brown spots on both sides of the face
  • brown patches on cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, and chin

Causes of Melasma

In the winter, the pigmentation in melasma tends regress. Experts have suggest various factors; however, it is not completely certain that these are the only variables cause melasma. Research reveals several aspects including pregnancy, birth control pills, HRT, genetic history, race and certain medications, to play partial roles in the development of melasma. Nevertheless, the most significant factor that has a lot of research support is too much exposure to the sun paired with genetic predisposition. An observation that supports this is that melasma usually develops in the summer season when exposure to intense sunlight is more likely. The condition then regresses during the winter season.

The actual reason for melasma is still not known. However, it can be triggered by the following factors:

  • Sun exposure, Ultraviolet (UV)
  • Hormonal changes in pregnancy or due to birth control
  • Specific skincare or makeup products


The treatment options for melasma that does not go on its own can include:

  • Hydroquinone lotion, cream, or gel
  • Corticosteroids and tretinoin
  • Topical medications
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peel
  • Laser treatment
  • Light therapy
  • Dermabrasion

Risk Factors of Melasma

The risk factors mirror the causal factors. The genetic component puts the individual at a higher risk of getting malesma; about 4 in every 10 people with this condition have one affected relative. Exposure to too much UV radiation along with hormonal fluctuation in hormone therapies and/or pregnancy qualify as risk factors. Furthermore, experts have identified phototoxic drugs, chemicals, cosmetics and steroids as important factors as well. People who are more prone to anxiety and stress are also at a higher risk of developing malasma; this has caused scientists to think that stress is actually an important factor.

Preventive Measures of Melasma

Unfortunately, you cannot avoid inherited melasma or stop this skin issue when pregnant. You can avoid the things that aggravate melasma, however, including:

  • Do not go out in the sun without applying sunscreen
  • Protect your skin by staying away from harsh chemicals
  • If you have hormonal problems, consult with a doctor
  • Take supplements of Vitamin D if recommended


Types of Melasma

There are currently four melasma types, based on their pigmentation patterns:

  • Epidermal melasma. Excess melanin in patches in the skin’s outer layers is the distinguishing characteristic of this type.
  • Dermal melasma. There are melanin-ingesting (eating) melanophages all over the dermis in this kind of melasma.
  • Mixed melasma. As the name suggests, this type has symptoms of both the aforementioned types.
  • Melasma in dark skinned people. This type is specifically related to the presence of excess melanocytes in the skin of people with darker skin.