What is melasma and what is the cause of its appearance?

What is melasma and what is the cause of its appearance?

¿Qué es el melasma y cuál es la causa de su aparición?

Melasma, also known as chloasma, is a form of hyperpigmentation that appears on the face, especially the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, and upper lip, and sometimes on other parts of the body that are exposed to heat. sun, like the forearms. Men can also suffer from the appearance of melasma, but it is much more common in women.

Melanin is the pigment that defines the color of people's skin. The increased production of melanin is the cause of melasma. This increase is believed to occur due to changes in hormone levels, especially those caused by pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives, as well as those caused by sun exposure.

Melasma is not harmful by any means, but it can be distressing when it is very obvious.

The factors that affect the appearance of melasmas are:

  • Anovulatory
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetics
  • Solar exposition
  • Menopause
  • Cosmetics: certain makeup, moisturizers or other beauty products can have an irritating effect on people predisposed
  • Endocrine diseases: melasma may or may not be a manifestation of an endocrine disease (diabetes mellitus)

There are three different types of melasma:

  • There are three types of melasma, depending on the depth at which the melanin is found: With Wood's light (black light lamp)
    • There are three types of melasma, depending on the depth to which it isMelasma dermal: with melanin located at the level of the superficial dermis. It usually presents diffuse borders and is usually located in the region of the zygomatic bone. Blue-black color with Woode's light find melanin: With Wood's light (black light lamp)
    • Epidermal melasma: with melanin located in the most basal epidermal layers. It presents well-defined borders and is usually distributed in the center-facial area. It is the type of melasma that best responds to treatment Dark brown color with wood light.
    • Mixed melasma: combines the features of dermal and epidermal melasma
    • Physiological melasma of pregnancy: It is usually temporary and responds well to treatment



Between 10 and 15% of pregnant women suffer from melasma; in fact, this condition is sometimes known as "the mask of pregnancy."

During pregnancy, endogenous hormones (that is, hormones naturally produced by the body) stimulate melanocytes (melanin-producing cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis) to produce more melanin.

How can I prevent the formation of dark spots?

The most significant step you can take to prevent or reduce the severity of melasma is to be proactive about sun protection. Limit your time in the sun, stay out of the sun during peak radiation hours, and wear protective clothing and hats whenever possible. This habit is very important if you have a genetic disposition to melasma (ie it often runs in your family) or if you are pregnant, taking birth control pills or other forms of hormonal supplementation.

Sun protection isn't just for sunbathers. The sun's rays affect the skin even on cloudy days, so you must provide the skin with the daily protection it needs. In addition to reducing hyperpigmentation, Eucerin Anti-Pigment Day SPF 30 effectively protects against UVA and UVB rays (SPF 30) and prevents the formation of further pigment spots caused by the sun.

If you'll be spending a lot of time in the sun, choose a product with a high or very high sun protection factor that has been specially formulated for your skin type and condition, and apply it regularly. You can find more information about Eucerin's range of superior sun protection products here.

también conocido como cloasma, es una forma de hiperpigmentación que aparece en la cara, en especial en las mejillas, el puente de la nariz, la frente y el labio superior, y en ocasiones en otras partes del cuerpo que sufren exposición al sol, como los antebrazos. Los hombres también pueden sufrir la aparición de melasma, pero es mucho más habitual en mujeres.
What is melasma and what is the cause of its appearance?


Los tratamientos dermatológicos como el peeling químico o el láser pueden ayudar a reducir el melasma. El melasma epidérmico es el tipo más fácil de reducir, ya que la profundidad de los pigmentos de melanina en el melasma dérmico y combinado los hace mucho más difíciles de tratar.

  • Los peeling químicos implican la aplicación de una solución química (como un AHA) para exfoliar la piel (es decir, eliminar células de piel muerta), estimular el crecimiento de células de piel nuevas y poner al descubierto piel nueva. Lea más información acerca de los peeling químicos en ¿Qué son los peeling químicos y cómo funcionan?
  • La terapia láser  tiene un efecto similar, pero tiende a ser más precisa, ya que el dermatólogo tiene más control sobre la intensidad del tratamiento. Los tratamientos con láser implican «impactar» las áreas afectadas con luz de alta energía. Los tratamientos más suaves se dirigen a la epidermis de la piel (la capa superficial), mientras que los más intensos pueden penetrar en las capas más profundas de la piel. Descubra más información en Terapia láser: ¿cómo puedo cuidarme la piel tras el tratamiento?






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