Dr. Sandesh Gupta, Dermatology
Chloasma is a condition of the skin that causes discoloration and black spots on the skin. It is more common in women than in men. When caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy, it is also called a “pregnancy mask” or chloasma. These patches on the face are darker and more symmetrical on both sides of the face. Areas of the body that are exposed to the sun for extended periods of time can also develop chloasma. It does not cause any physical problems, but it can look unsightly.
What Causes Chloasma?
Studies have shown that levels of progesterone and estrogen tend to affect the skin and cause melasma, but doctors and researchers still do not know the cause of the melasma.
Some of the causes of chloasma are:
- Start or stop oral contraceptives
- Hormonal changes caused by the underlying physical cause.
- Thyroid disease
- Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can also affect skin pigments (melanocytes) and cause chloasma.
Symptoms of chloasma:
Brownish spots on the forehead, cheeks, chin, and bridge of the nose are signs of chloasma.
Treatment of chloasma:
- During pregnancy, chloasma usually disappears spontaneously after childbirth.
- Avoid taking oral contraceptives or change medications to change the composition of the medication. Often, it is the composition of the pill that causes melasma, not generally oral contraceptives.
- Hydroquinone is an ointment that can be applied to the skin. This brightens the dark spots on the skin caused by chloasma.
- Corticosteroids and tretinoin – This drug is usually prescribed by a dermatologist to reduce the patches caused by chloasma. It should be taken under a doctor’s prescription.
- Topical dermatological agents – Drugs containing kojic acid or azelaic acid can also help reduce brownish spots on the skin.
- Procedures-If the patch is not removed with a drug or cream, we recommend procedures such as dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels. These steps should be performed by a certified dermatologist. This also prevents melasma from recurring in the future.