Melasma and chloasma are two terms used to describe a common skin condition characterized by the development of dark patches or irregular pigmentation on the face. Melasma is typically used to describe the condition when it occurs in non-pregnant women, while chloasma is used to describe the condition when it occurs in pregnant women.
The exact cause of melasma and chloasma is not well understood, but it is thought to be related to hormonal changes, sun exposure, and genetics. The condition is more common in women, particularly those who are pregnant or taking oral contraceptives, and in people with darker skin types.
Treatment options for melasma and chloasma include topical treatments, such as hydroquinone, tretinoin, and azelaic acid, which can help to lighten the affected areas of skin and reduce the appearance of dark patches. Other topical treatments, such as kojic acid, tranexamic acid, alpha arbutin, and vitamin C, may also be effective in improving skin pigmentation.
In severe cases, an oral prescription of tranexamic acid can be very effective in select candidates.
In addition to topical treatments, procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion can also be used to treat melasma and chloasma. These procedures work by removing the outer layer of skin, which can help to improve the appearance of skin pigmentation.
It's important to note that melasma and chloasma may not be appropriate for all individuals, and results can vary depending on a number of factors, including the severity of the condition, the patient's skin type, and their overall health and lifestyle. A dermatologist can help to assess your individual needs and develop an appropriate treatment plan to help you achieve your cosmetic goals.