I am surprised that so many of us are not really aware about melasma. From the previous post, a few of you have asked questions about melasma. So, I have done a bit of research on this and will share what I found regarding this skin condition.

Let me list down some of the things being asked:

1) Can you get melasma in the 2nd or 3rd pregnancies even though you didn’t get it during your first pregnancy?

The answer is yes, you can. People like us who have darker skin tones tend to get this more than the Americans. Statistic says that 40% of Asian women get melasma. That’s quite a high percentage, isn’t it?

2) Men too can get melasma.

Did you know that men can also get melasma? It is due to our Asian skin and this skin disorder does affect about 20% of men.

3) Is melasma skin disorder genetic?

Apparently, it is not. So, eventhough your mother or grandmother did not experience this skin condition, you may get it. Women who use oral contraceptive, pregnant or menopausal tend to get them.

4) Will good eating habits prevent it?

According to experts, this skin condition can only be treated by professionals as it is not something you can prevent by good eating habits. The other thing is to avoid exposure to sunlight.

According to a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Dr Zalina, melasma is not a permanent thing if you seek treatment from skin specialist and know the ways to manage it. However, if left untreated, it will become a permanent feature and will to a certain extend cause some disfigurement if one is concern about one’s look.

The ob-gyn also recommended those women take oral contraceptive who get melasma to talk to their ob-gyns to switch to one with less estrogen and progesterone concentration.

Remember that there is no cure for melasma except for treatment and then prevention by way of minimizing exposure to sun. Yet, if one is pregnant again, the melasma may re-appear again.

Some of the treatments recommended are:
– Topical creams
– Peeling agents
– Light and laser technology

However, note that peeling agents and light and laser technology are less preferred as it can cause the skin to turn even darker in colour.

Therefore, the usual recommendation is the first and only triple fixed combination cream with the concentration of hydroquinone 4%, tretinoin 0.05% and fluocinolone acetonide 0.01%. This treatment is found to be effective in the clearing of melasma after eight weeks through active and intermittent long term use.

It is important to note that while this topical cream alleviates facial spots caused by melasma, it should only be used after pregnancy or once you’ve stopped breastfeeding for two weeks, depending on your doctor’s prescription.

Now that we are more aware of melasma, I suppose we won’t be so fearful of getting it. Moreover, this also clears our doubts about skin pigmentation and the skin condition melasma. I hope no one seeks the wrong treatment for skin pigmentation when they are actually suffering from melasma. As mentioned above, getting the wrong treatment using peeling or laser technology may cause the person ending up in much darker patches. As always, seek your doctor’s advice.

Hope this has been informative and useful to those women who are suffering from melasma or those worried about getting it someday.