Excessive exposure to the sun can lead to a lot of skin-related problems: from sunburn to skin cancer. Sun exposure can also trigger melasma, one of the most common skin conditions that we face today. Although it’s not life-threatening, this hyperpigmentation of the skin usually appears on the face as brown to gray-brown blotches which can lower one’s self-esteem and in some cases may even cause so much embarrassment leading to depression.
Melasma commonly affects the forehead, the chin, the cheeks, the bridge of the nose and above the upper lip but can also crop up on other skin surfaces which can also often be exposed to the sun like your neck and forearms.
It has no clear cause, but some melasma triggers aresun exposure, hormonal imbalance, and skin care products that can irritate your skin. The last two triggers are perhaps the biggest reasons why about 90% of those afflicted with melasma are women, especially those who are pregnant, or undergoing menopause, or taking birth control pills. People who live in places abundant with sunlight like South Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America are also more prone to have melasma as aside from too much sun exposure, most of them have naturally darker skin tone due to thehigher amounts of melanin in their skin compared to those who have lighter or fairer skin.
Melasma can fade on its own when the trigger for it has passed, like when a pregnant woman has delivered her baby. However, some melasma can be quite stubborn and will stay with you for years.
But don’t worry. There are melasma cure you can use to get rid of those brown patches. Most common treatment for melasma is through medication. Dermatologistscan prescribe you with topical medicines like hydroquinone which lightens your skin, or procedures like chemical peels or laser treatments.
If you’re not up for that, there are also natural ways that can help you get rid of melasma and here are some of them:
1. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric contains a powerful active ingredient called Curcumin which lists skin whitening capabilities amongst its many health benefits. It reduces melanin which is one of the reasons why it’s one of the more effective natural melasma cure.
You can use it as a mask by making a paste and applying it on your skin: from turmeric powder and water to other turmeric combinations. Or you can consume it either as turmeric tea or food supplements.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is very good for the skin as it contains Vitamin E, it can strengthen hair and can even act as a sunscreen. You can apply it topically on your melasma in a circular motion as you would a lotion or cream to help lighten your skin and cure your hyperpigmentation.
3. Aloe Vera Gel
The mucilaginous polysaccharides in aloe vera gels help remove dark spots in your skin caused by overexposure to sunlight. It’s also a natural anti-oxidant that helps protect the skin from harmful free-radicals and signs of aging which makes it a popular skin care ingredient.
To use: apply the gel directly on your melasma and massage gently for 2 minutes, leave for 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
There are lots of ways to cure melasma but as always, prevention is better. To help prevent the triggering of melasma it’s important to cover up especially if you’re going for some fun in the sun.
- Always apply sunscreen;
- Wear wide-brimmed hats as much as possible;
- Avoid waxing especially in your facial areas;and
- Switch to using gentle skin care products instead.
Not only are these useful for preventing you from triggering melasma, you can even use these tips to stop it from acting up again.