Wednesday, 30 July 2014

How to Detect the Seriousness of Melasma

Flawless skin is what every woman desires. The problem with human skin is that it is highly susceptible to external damage. As the outermost layer of your body, the skin’s appearance gets affected first because of several internal and external factors. One common skin problem which can arise irrespective of age is hyper pigmentation or Melasma. Before talking about its detection, it is important to know what exactly Melasma is.

Basic Facts about Melasma

Melasma, scientifically known as Chloasma faciei is a particular type of cosmetic condition whereby dark irregular patches appear on the skin. It particularly affects the areas of skin that are exposed to sun like arms, neck and even chest. In general, this skin condition affects your face first and then spreads to other portions. Asian and Hispanic women have greater chances of getting this disease because of their particular skin types. Stress and hormonal imbalances can also cause hyper pigmentation. This is why pregnant women or women in their pre-menopausal stages often get affected by Melasma.

Melasma can be classified into three types. Dermal melasma occurs in the dermis of the skin, epidermal melasma attacks the epidermis portion, whereas mixed melasma affects both the dermis and epidermis areas. The easiest way to figure out the category is checking out patches of discoloration on the affected portion. While the epidermal kind is light brown, dermal is grayish and the mixed type is darkish in color. A professional however uses a wooden lamp to determine the type of Melasma, based on skin behavior under the wood light.

Determining the Intensity of Melasma

The most commonly used tool to determine the intensity of melasma is the MASI (Melasma Area and Severity Index) score. In a nutshell, intensity of the condition is measured in various parts of the face, i.e., forehead, cheeks and chin. Then, each area is graded starting from 0 to 6, based on the percentile of involvement. A 0 score implies no unusual hyper pigmentation whereas 1score means less than 10% area is affected. The range moves up this way. A MASI score of 3 indicates around 50% hyper-pigmentation. When the score is 4, it implies severe melasma with almost 70% affected area. However, the procedure is very complicated and varies according to individual skin type. Hence, it is better to trust an experienced skin professional to conduct an accurate test.

Effective Melasma Remedies

Prevention is always better than cure, so it’s better if you start following a daily skin care regime. Sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 should be a mandatory application before going out. If possible, stop medications like contraceptives that cause hormonal fluctuations. Several natural remedies work wonder for the affected skin like berries, wheat, citrus fruits, different types of grains and seeds. It is not advisable to go for self medication to treat melasma. The ideal way to treat melasma is to consult an aesthetic medical practitioner. Someone who is rightly equipped to analyze melasma symptoms and its severity is the right person to cure this hyper-pigmentation problem. 

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