What is Melasma?
Melasma or melanosis is a chronic disease characterized by primary skin hyperpigmentation. This pathology appears due to excessive accumulation and deposition of melanin in the skin. The disease can be either congenital or acquired.
One of the types of the disease is toxic melasma, which appears as a professional dermatosis in individuals when intoxicated with oil or coal products. That is, sensitivity to sunlight arises after contact with lubricants, especially oil, tar, coal tar, etc.
Areas of hyperpigmentation in the form of brown or dark brown spots are often located on the nose, cheeks, forehead, chin, upper lip; less often, such formations can be seen on the neck. First of all, areas of pigmentation formation are open areas that are exposed to direct sunlight.
The reasons for the development of this disease are:
- Hormonal changes in the body (taking hormonal contraceptives, pregnancy, and hormone treatment).
- Diseases of the adrenal glands, ovaries, pituitary gland.
- Toxic effects on the body of tar and arsenic.
- Sometimes, contact with oil and coal products.
- Progressive forms of malaria, tuberculosis, syphilis.
- The use of photosensitizers (tetracycline, sulfanilamide, furocoumarin).
- The last stage of head lice, in which the mucous membranes are already affected.
- Using aromatic soaps and deodorants.
- Lack of ascorbic acid and vitamin PP in the body.
- Genetic predisposition.
What are the symptoms of the disease?
With melasma, the following symptoms appear:
- redness of the skin on the face, neck and forearms;
- a feeling of warmth and burning in the area of formations;
- fusion of small age spots into one large one;
- peeling of the skin;
- increased pigmentation;
- roughness of skin;
- the occurrence of pathology of the endocrine glands and the nervous system;
- general malaise;
This disease can last long enough. In case of contact with substances that provoked the development of the disease, a relapse occurs.
Diagnosis of melasma
To identify the causes of melasma, the dermatologist conducts a physical examination of the patient, a survey, and a collection of anamnestic data, after which additional research methods are employed, such as dermatoscopy, siascopy, clinical analysis of blood and urine, etc.
The consequences of melasma
Timely consultation of a qualified specialist will allow you to identify the cause of the disease and carry out the necessary treatment. Ignoring the symptoms of melasma will provoke the further development of the underlying disease with the appearance of large areas of pigmentation on the skin.
Treatment of Melasama
Several types of medications are often prescribed:
Among the common oral medications are; hydroquinone, azelaic acid, arbutin,
Retinoids (preparations containing vitamin A), antihistamines, amongst others. It is also necessary to take vitamin complexes containing groups, B6, B1, and C.
Additional recommendations for the treatment of melasma:
- If possible, it is necessary to suspend the intake of hormonal drugs (if the use of hormone-containing drugs occurs for medical purposes, then they can be canceled only after consulting a doctor);
- The use of whitening creams
- laser therapy (under the influence of pulses, the skin becomes lighter);
- Applying steroid creams to the affected area (reduce the activity of producing pigment cells).
Any method of treatment is suitable for pregnant women, except for the use of whitening creams. Melasma usually disappears after childbirth, so during pregnancy, it is better to use masking cosmetics and natural remedies.
As prophylaxis of this disease, the use of sunscreens and the wearing of hats is recommended. It is also recommended to wear clothing that is not too revealing in the summertime to protect the skin.
To prevent toxic melasma, it is necessary to undergo an annual professional examination, to improve working conditions; for people with an identified form of toxic melanosis, it is necessary to move to a place of work where one is not exposed to harmful substances.