What is Melasma?
Here at the Skin Nurse Clinic we treat a lot of melasma patients. It is a common skin condition for adults, mostly women, in which light to dark brown patchy pigmentation develops, usually on the face.
Although it can affect both genders secondary to excess ultraviolet irradiation, it is more common in women. It occurs in pregnancy and also can be caused or exacerbated by the oestrogen in the oral contraceptive pill.
Melasma is usually very noticeable during the summer months when the face can actually appear dirty and fades a lot during the winter months. It has no cancerous potential.
What causes Melasma?
The cause is not fully understood although it occurs quite frequently in pregnancy, and in the majority of women the condition fades after the delivery. Some acquire it while taking oral contraceptives although it doesn’t always fade after discontinuation of these. All patients with melasma find that it is increased with increased exposure to UV light and this must indeed be the cause in males where oestrogen is not contributory.
What does Melasma look like?
There is pigmentation on the face. It can be symmetrical or patchy. It is light or dark brown depending on recent sun exposure. The Skin Nurse Nicola O’Byrne has been treating melasma very successfully for over 18 years.
At the Skin Nurse Clinic patient education is as important as the treatment plan and delivery. We like to take a multi – treatment approach. The first and most important objective is to identify if the hyperpigmentation (dark brown spots) is actually melasma. There may be another underlying reason for example sun damage or in some cases, skin cancer. A dermatology nurse will assess the skin and if required we will take a magnified picture with our ‘skin camera’ for assessment by Dr.Bedi our Consultant Dermatologist.
*DISCLAIMER Patient experience and results may vary. These are dependent on a number of factors such as lifestyle, age and medical history.