One morning I looked in the mirror and noticed a mark on my face. It popped up overnight and looked like a tea stain on my cheek. It was the middle of winter and I sure wasn’t exposed to any sun in the previous few months, so what was it? I visited my doctor just to be sure I wasn’t anything sinister as I was a regular sunbed user as a teen/ in my early 20s. She told me that during the menopause it is quite common to get these on your body; particularly your face and it’s called Melasma.
What is Melasma?
Melasma’s are dark in colour, irregular shaped patches and most commonly found on the upper cheek, nose, upper lip and forehead. They often gradually develop over time (perhaps I wasn’t looking closely enough at my skin daily). Melasma patches are harmless and just simply changes in pigmentation. However, the next time you’re at the doctors its always best to have them checked as they have many of the same characteristics of skin cancer – beware of any raised marks that change.
Why do I have Melasma?
Melasma may appear on women’s skin during menopause due to hormonal changes. Estrogen moderates melanin production; as peri-menopause begins our estrogen decreases, causing our melanin synthesis to increase which, in turn, leads to areas of our skin that have been exposed to high levels of UV (our face daily) developing these unique, tea stain like, marks. Many more women who take HRT or who have previously taken the contraception pill experience them as estrogen fluctuation is greater.
Is there anything I can do about Melasma?
There is no cure for melasma, and usually you will find they’re not very noticeable. I have to point mine out for people to notice. However, visit a dermatologist if it’s really bothering you and be advised on treatment per case.
Natural ways to prevent and discourage Melasma are …
- To avoid hormonal treatments
- Avoiding UV and using high factor sun cream daily (SPF 30+)
Treatments you can undergo include….
- Skin lightening creams
- Chemical peels
- Micro needling
- Laser therapy
- Cosmetic camouflage
Hopefully this has cleared up some confusion for you lovely ladies. I personally have chosen to embrace my new little cheek friend, but have also aensure my moisturiser and makeup has high SPF to avoid any future skin damage/surprise blobs.
Have a great day ladies!