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According to studies, melasma can cause psychological issues and lead to poor quality of life because of changes it causes to an individual’s skin. Melasma is a common disorder characterized by pigmentation and mostly affects women, including those with dark skin. 

It is popular as the mask of pregnancy and occurs on the face as dark patches and spots with irregular borders. It results from hormonal changes during pregnancy and hormonal medication like birth control pills. Another contributor to melasma is exposure to the sun. 

Is it possible to prevent melasma

Unfortunately, you cannot fully prevent melasma in individuals that develop the disorder because of their skin color, hormones, genetics, or exposure to the sun. What you should do after treatment to avoid recurrence is to avoid direct sunlight exposure, avoid hormonal medication, and use high-SPF sunscreens. It is vital to note that strict sun protection is the basis of any treatment approach for melasma. 

How does sunscreen help against melasma?

For individuals that have developed melasma, it is vital to choose the right sunscreen. According to research, a range of tinted sunscreens, especially those containing iron oxide, can reduce pigment formation in the skin of melasma sufferers because they block both UVA and UVB rays and visible light. In contrast, untinted sunscreens do not obstruct visible light.

Utilizing cosmetics like foundations containing UVA/UVB filters and visible light blocks like iron oxide may be more practical for some individuals. These products serve as sunscreens to prevent lesions from becoming darker while concealing dark spots to lessen the psychological effects of melasma.

Treatment of melasma

There is no available cure for melasma, but numerous medications can help someone manage the condition. However, these treatment alternatives can result in an incomplete response which implies that the discoloration may disappear, become lighter, or fail to be changed. Sometimes there are relapses. 

Skin-lightening medications are the most common melasma treatments and can be applied topically. They include azelaic acid, hydroquinone, niacinamide, kojic acid, tranexamic acid, rucinol, and cysteamine.