Do you think you’re suffering from chloasma? Would you like to learn about effective chloasma treatment methods? Chloasma is a skin condition that is characterized by brown spots on the face. It’s caused due to an excessive production of the pigment melanin by the pigment producing cells – melanocytes. Chloasma is also known clinically as Melasma.
If you’re suffering from brown spots on your face (i.e. chloasma) and feel embarrassed by the condition, don’t despair. Fortunately, there are various effective treatment methods for chloasma. That’s what we are going to talk about in detail in this article.
There is no one direct cause for chloasma. Chloasma is caused by a series of various contributing factors. Studies have revealed that genetics could also be a possible cause with 1/3rd of patients reporting that an individual in their family had been affected by chloasma in the past.
Here are some of the most common factors that contribute to chloasma….
1. Exposure to sun
Exposure to sun leads to natural tanning of the skin. This is inevitable. Various other parts of the skin darken too apart from the face. Chloasma due to heavy sun exposure can be prevented by the application of an effective sunscreen daily before stepping out in the sun.
Hormonal imbalances are common amongst pregnant women. Chloasma is known to occur with various women during their pregnancy. Pregnancy-related chloasma tends to fade away naturally a few months right after delivery.
3. Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal imbalances caused due to a variety of conditions such as intake of oral contraceptive pills, hormone treatments, etc have known to cause chloasma amongst women. Women who experience aging are also known to suffer from chloasma. Hypothyroidism is also known to cause Melasma.
4. Intake of drugs
Phototoxic reactions caused by certain medications or drugs are also known to trigger chloasma. Check yourself to see if you’ve been taking any new medications for an illness. It could be a side-effect of certain medications.
5. Skin irritants
Shaving tends to leave behind various abrasions in the skin. Cells around the areas surrounding the abrasion would naturally begin to produce more melanin during its healing process. This could lead to brown spots.
There are various different treatment methods for Chloasma. The effectiveness of each method depends on the intensity of the hyper-pigmentation and the sensitiveness of the individual’s skin.
1. Oral Medication
Oral Medications are currently being tested for the treatment of chloasma. However, none of these drugs have been proven to work. Your doctor may have one or two recommendations to make.
2. Liquid Nitrogen Therapy
Liquid nitrogen has been found to be effective in the treatment of facial scars and acne. The spots are frozen by the application of liquid nitrogen and removed.
Depending on the intensity of your condition, your doctor may recommend liquid nitrogen therapy for the treatment of chloasma. With liquid nitrogen therapy, spots can be treated and removed in as little as 2 – 3 weeks.
3. Topical Therapy
Tropical therapy is the most common form of treatment for chloasma. It is one of the most effective methods. Application of a cream topically on the affected areas leads to improvement of skin tone in three – four weeks (with most people).
Most topical creams work by inhibiting the enzyme tyronsinase which is responsible for the production of melanin in melanocytes.
Skin Whitening Cream Substances
Here are some of the most common tyronsinase inhibitors found in skin whitening creams and lotions used for treating chloasma…
Hydroquinone – Hydroquinone in concentrations of 2 – 4% is used in various skin whitening lotions and creams for treating chloasma. Hydroquinone makes contact with the epidermis and kills off pigment producing cells i.e. melanocytes.
The most effective commercially available tyronsinase inhibitor is hydroquinone. However, its sales are only regulated with a prescription as long-term use of creams containing hydroquinone is known to cause ochronosis (a skin condition where the skin darkens and becomes thick)
Kojic Acid – Kojic acid is another ingredient that’s known to be effective when it comes to inhibiting the activity of tyronsinase. Even though it has the same irritating effect as Hydroquinone, it’s been tested to be safe.
Gigawhite – Gigawhite is a naturally occurring compound derived from the extracts of various Swiss Alpine Plants. It’s known to not only effectively inhibit the enzyme tyronsinase but also whiten the skin overtime naturally.
Licorice extract – Licorice extract has been used in various skin whitening creams and is known to be an effective side-effect free ingredient that’s capable of inhibiting tyronsinase activity.
Chloasma Treatment Tips
For any of the above mentioned chloasma treatment methods to work effectively, we strongly recommend taking the following measures…
- Discontinuation of hormonal contraceptive pills and other medications that is known to trigger chloasma
- Protect your skin with an effective sun block each time you step out in the sun. If there’s heavy sunlight exposure, it’s recommended that you reapply the sunscreen twice daily.
- Cleanse the skin regularly using a mild cleanser and apply a moisturizer if needed.