What is melasma and why does it appear?


Hormonal changes, age, lifestyle and environmental factors can cause dark brown areas on the face that are difficult to hide and remove. Here we will tell you everything you need to know about melasma or facial tissue and how to prevent it in the most effective way.

1. What is melasma?

Melasma or known as chloasma, is a skin condition in which they appear as areas darkened by brown spots that can appear on the cheeks, the mustache area, the nose and the forehead mainly, although they can also appear in other parts of the body. These spots become more noticeable in summer, as they darken through prolonged exposure to the sun.

Recent studies have shown that heat is also a factor for spots to increase their pigmentation, regardless of exposure to UV rays and HEV rays.

2. Types of melasma

There are 3 types of melasma, we explain them below:

Epidermal melasma : the pigmentation appears in a brown color and the epidermis, which is the upper layer of the skin, is affected.

Dermal or deep melasma : It affects the deepest part of the dermis and this depends on the depth where the melanin is located.

Mixed melasma: Mixed melasma (it is a combination of epidermal melasma and dermal melasma), it presents as a grayish pigmentation. This is because because of the depth of melanin pigments in dermal melasma and mixed melasma, these types can be more difficult to treat.

Melasma may not represent a health problem, especially if it is not overexposed to the sun, but it is necessary to watch out for spots or moles that cause some type of discomfort or change in volume, which could be a sign of some type of cancerous lesion.

That is why prevention through proper skincare and moderate sun exposure is always the best alternative.

3. Causes of melasma

Melasma appears because there is an excess production of melanin, which is responsible for giving color or pigment to our skin, eyes, and hair.

There are several factors that trigger the overproduction of melanin. Below we describe the main factors that trigger it and cause the appearance of dark spots on the skin.

  1. Genetics

    If you have relatives with a history of melasma, it is more likely that you have this predisposition and that you can develop it in reproductive age. Skin color is also a predisposing factor, as it occurs more frequently in dark skin .

    It is estimated that up to 90% of melasma cases affect Latina and Asian women . Another interesting fact is that melasma in men only affects 10% of this population.

  2. Exposure to solar radiation

    Exposure to the sun directly without any type of protection is one of the main risk factors and will most likely be a cause of melasma.

    It is important to mention that even in closed places, people are exposed to 3% of the sun's rays, so it is necessary to use protection. Even with sunscreen, constant radiation exposure carries an increased risk of developing melasma on the face.

    The sun's rays are cumulative over time, so many times when we are young its effect is not noticeable, but with the passage of time spots begin to appear, even if we take better care of ourselves than before.

  3. Exposure to artificial light and infrared radiation

    Currently we spend most of the time exposed to electronic devices, this prolonged exposure without any type of protection can cause various damage to the skin such as photoaging and melasma. Infrared light and artificial light are considered light pollution and these generate an attack on the skin that produces stress by generating free radicals. We recommend the Ultra Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 40 that, in addition to protecting from UV rays, also protects against digital lights.

    Other environmental factors such as environmental pollution can also aggravate the melasma problem.

  4. hormonal factors

    Many women face different hormonal changes that cause the appearance of melasma, such as pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives mainly.

    pregnancy mask
    An important hormonal change occurs during pregnancy and brings with it an overstimulation of melanocytes that produce melanin, which causes brown spots on the face of pregnant women also known as chloasma gestationis.
    In some cases, depending on genetics and exposure to sunlight, the spots may disappear. In other cases it will be necessary to use specialized treatments for melasma.
    During pregnancy it is important to use a routine designed for care in this period that does not affect the pregnancy. We recommend the Age Reverse System.
    oral contraceptives
    More than 50% of women who use oral contraceptives present an unfavorable reaction such as hyperpigmentation of the skin in the form of brown spots. Oral contraceptives contain synthetic derivatives of natural female sex hormones that stimulate, among other things, melanocytes responsible for skin pigmentation.

  5. inadequate skin care

    We must be very careful not to use any skincare product on our skin, since some contain some ingredients such as essential oils derived from citrus fruits that, when exposed to the sun, cause pigmentation on the skin.

    There are some creams for the treatment of melasma that are usually photosensitive (that is, they must be applied at night and avoid exposure to the sun), they can generate adverse effects such as: skin irritation, sensitization and contact dermatitis. If sun exposure restrictions are not taken into account, more spots may appear instead of being removed.

    Some procedures such as chemical peels, pulsed light, laser and radiofrequency, among others, can also cause inflammation and in turn worsen melasma spots, even when performed by a professional.

4. How to prevent melasma?

Today there are endless treatments that can help prevent the appearance of melasma and improve the appearance of the skin, one of them is the use of a sun protection factor. The use of photoprotectors is an excellent ally. We recommend the Skin Brightening System

There are products with different assets and ingredients that act to regulate the change in skin color, among them we can find; the use of a number of topical and medical skin care products, these products typically contain one or more of the following components.

  • Chromabright® – Advanced fading ingredient that diminishes the appearance of uneven pigments and age spots while being photoprotective. Chromabright® is 50% more effective at lightening skin than kojic acid. We recommend Ultra Moisture Day Night Creme and our 360 Firming Eye Serum.

  • Vitamin C: this component can also be found as L-ascorbic acid, and the effectiveness that Vitamin C derivatives contain to combat hyperpigmentation has been demonstrated and is frequently used together with other active components. We recommend Vitamin C. 

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