Summer is an excellent time to go outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. However, certain skin conditions can be aggravated by an increased amount of sunlight. The condition of melasma causes dark spots to appear on the skin. These spots might be bluish, gray, or brown in color. Although the condition does not negatively impact an individual’s health or cause any pain, many people do not like how these patchy spots look, and think it looks like they have a bad tan. What is even worse, these discolorations have a tendency to appear on parts of the body that tend to be the most visible. There are fortunately are ways that the appearance of these dark spots can be minimized according to Dr Anna Avaliani, while still being able to enjoy the sun during the summertime.
What Causes Melasma?
Cells called Melanocytes produce pigmentation and are located in the skin. Fair-skinned people have fewer melanocytes, while those with darker skin have more. The melanocytes can start to produce more pigment by certain stimuli. When you tan, that is what occurs. It is thought that patchy dark spots that characterize this condition are due to a malfunction that occurs inside of the melanocytes. But researchers are not completely sure what causes these malfunctions. Some of the most likely culprits include sun exposure, hormonal changes, and skin irritation. Some melasma cases might be caused by several of these factors combined.
Who is at Risk the Most?
Although this condition can be developed by both female and male patients, only around 10% of all diagnosed cases are men. Women are more likely to be affected, especially those from 20 to 50 years old. Since one of the risk factors for getting the condition is hormonal charges, it is more likely for pregnant women to develop spots on their skin, especially during their third trimester. This condition is called chloasma whenever it takes place during pregnancy. Also, women taking medications that result in hormonal changes like hormone replacement therapy that postmenopausal women take, or birth control pills taken by women of childbearing age, it is more likely that they will display symptoms. Ethnicity/race is a risk factor as well to develop melasma. A higher amount of melanocytes results in more risk for malfunctions that might cause dark spots, so individuals who have olive-toned skin have a tendency to develop this condition more frequently. That includes individuals of Latin, Asian, or Middle Eastern descent.
What Steps Can You Take To Manage This Condition?
During the summer, symptoms can get worse due to an increased amount of sun exposure. However, according to Dr Anna Avaliani there are certain steps that you can take to help counteract the effects of Melasma.
1. Avoid Waxing
During the summer, there are many individuals who want to minimize the amount of hair on their faces and bodies. However, waing can irritate the skin and possibly make melasma even worse.
2. Select Skin Care Products Carefully
Choose gentle formulations that will not cause burning or stinging. They can be skin irritation symptoms.
3. Be Vigilant About Using Sunscreen
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF. Apply it daily, and not just when you think you will be out in the sunshine. Some kinds of UV rays are able to permeate the clouds and window glass.
4. Use Extra Sun Protection
If you have melasma, then just wearing sunscreen by itself might not offer enough protection. When outside, remain in the shade whenever you can. Wear protective clothing and a wide-brimmed.
If despite taking these measures your symptoms continue to persist, a dermatologist might be able to assist. Consult the Melasma treatment expert, NYC and arrange an appointment.