Melasma means acquired hyper- pigmentation of sun-exposed areas. Melasma presents as symmetrically distributed hyperpigmented macules which can be confluent, reticulated or punctuate. In simple words, it means darkening of facial skin due to over- production of pigment “Melanin”. Melasma refers to the pigmentation of the cheeks of the face.(Malar area). When it occurs during pregnancy, it is referred to as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy.
CHLOASMA: It is a synonymous term sometimes used to describe melasma during pregnancy.
- Chloasma is derived from the Greek word “Chlorazine”, meaning to be green.
- Melas, also Greek, means “Black”. Because the pigmentation is never green in appearance, melasma is the preferred term.
MOST COMMON SITE
Areas that receive excessive sun exposure including the cheeks, the upper lip, the chin and the forehead are the most common locations.
CAUSES/RISK FACTORS FOR MELASMA OR CHLOASMA
- Common in women aged 20 to 40.
- More common in dark skin than fair skin.
- Associated with female hormones – estrogen and progesterone.
- Common in pregnant women.
- Women who are taking oral contraceptives, women who take Hormone- replacement therapy during menopause.
- Sun exposure is common in tropical climates.
- Both Ultraviolet A(UV- A) and Ultraviolet- B(UV- B) are believed to contribute to the formation of melasma in predisposed persons.
- Men may also be affected as it is not always estrogen dependent.
- Triggered by medicines used to treat ovarian or thyroid problems and also by medication called Dilantin.
- More common in summer weather due to sun exposure.
- Repeated pregnancies can intensify pigmentation.
- Cosmetics over-use.
- Common in young men who use shaving lotions,etc.
Symptom picture :
- Tanned patches of dark brown color.
- Usually develop on the upper cheek, upper lip and forehead.
- Dark patches appear on both sides of the face in a symmetrical manner.
- Irregular in shape.
- They rarely appear on other sun-exposed areas of the body.
- Homeopathy is found to be highly effective in treating cases of Melasma/ Chloasma by removing the root cause of the clinical picture of the patient.
- Homeopathy treats the patient through a holistic approach as the Homeopathic physician takes a detailed case-history of the patient by asking many questions.
- Also,Homeopathic treatment gives significance to the individual picture of the patient. Thus, it treats the patient as a whole.
Homeopathic therapeutics of Chloasma or Melasma
- Indicated in diseases of women especially those occurring during pregnancy, childbed and lactation; diseases attended with sudden prostration and sinking faintness.
- The patient has yellowness of the face, a yellow saddle across the upper part of cheeks and nose.
- There is pigmentation on the cheeks, forehead and nose.
- The pigmentation varies from brownish, yellowish to blackish in color.
- The skin may be rough and hard.
- Suitable for women with facial pigmentation arising during pregnancy and after child birth.
- Also, Melasma occurring during menopause.
- There can also be dark circles under the eyes with pale skin.
2. BERBERIS AQUIFOLIUM:
- Suitable remedy for skin affections.
- For treating melasma or chloasma from eruptions.
- Effective in clearing up the complexion.
- This remedy treats pigmentation spots and scars on the face left behind by any kind of eruption.
- The skin is dry, rough and scaly.
- The cheeks may feel hot.
- The skin may be waxy in texture sometimes.
3. PULSATILLA NIGRICANS:
- For facial pigmentation with menstrual irregularity.
- The irregularities include delayed, scanty and suppressed menses.
- They appear as pigmented spots and freckles on the face.
- Pulsatilla is indicated in mild,gentle and timid females who are emotional and tearful by nature. They crave sympathy.
- It is the best indicated remedy for complaints arising since puberty.” Never well since puberty”.
- It helps in treating melasma occurring in young sentimental females during puberty.
- The skin may be pimply along with hyperpigmentation.
4. CADMIUM SULPHURATUM:
- Helps in treating chloasma with yellowish stains on nose and cheeks.
- These are worse from exposure to sun and wind.
- The skin may be blue, yellow, sallow, scaly and cracking.
- Itching feels better by scratching.
- The pigmentation varies from yellowish to brownish in color.
- Pigmented spots are present over the entire face but most prominently on the nose and cheeks.
- Indicated for facial pigmentation with dry skin.
- Best indicated in skin affections that have been treated by medicated soaps and washes.
- The skin looks unhealthy and dirty.
- The skin complaints are accompanied with itching and burning sensation on the face.
- There is facial pigmentation with dry skin.
- Itching gets worse in the heat.
- Sulphur is a good choice of medicine used to treat facial pigmentation subjected to ointments and external topical applications in the past