(a term derived from Greek word ‘melas’ meaning black) is an acquired blotchy, irregularly patterned, brown or sometimes grey-brown melanosis of the face and occasionally the neck, of poorly understood etiology but attributable to sunlight and genetic predisposition.
Causes of melasma
- Estrogen is the most important factor. This explains the prevalence of the disease in pregnancy and after use of oral contraceptives.
- Sun exposure: UVB light is an important cause
- Iron folate deficiency
- Cosmetics, fragrances
- Genetic factors
- Racial factors
Melasma can be either diffuse or may be mottled. It may be either totally epidermal (as in early cases) or mixed (as in later cases, when part of the pigment descends in to dermis.)
Manifestations of melasma
Hyper pigmented areas affected with melasma usually appear as blotchy patches. Melasma patches are not elevated above the level of the skin, but appear as flattened discolorations of tan or shade of brown from light to dark or gray.
Melasma is most frequently noticed on sun-exposed areas of the face, especially the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, nose, and chin. Scars and moles located inside a melasma patch may also undergo progressive darkening. Patches may appear in a symmetric pattern.
Homeopathic treatment of melasma
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat melasma but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat melasma that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of melasma:
Sepia – yellow blotches; pale or sallow; yellow about mouth; saddle like brownish distribution on nose and cheeks.
Lycopodium – grayish yellow color of face, with blue circles around eyes; withered, shriveled, and emaciated; copper colored eruptions; itching liver spots; yellow grey complexion; brown spots on the face and nose.
Nitric acid – scaly skin of face; black pores on face; freckles of face
Phosphorous – brownish spots here and there all over body; pale sickly complexion, blue rings around the eyes; circumscribed redness in one or both cheeks.
Argentum Nitricum – skin is brown; old, pale, bluish, and sunken look of face; old man’s appearance.
Thuja – eruptions on face, leaving bluish appearance; light brown spots on face; the skin is oily.
Sulphur – dry, rough skin, old looking people; pale, sickly color; liver spots; burning with spotting redness of face.
Curare – remarkable remedy for the cases of melasma
Other important medicines mainly include:
Carduus M, Cadmium Sulph, Nux Vomica, Antim crud, Causticum, Natrum Carb, Caulophyllum.