Preventing Melasma: What You Need To Know

Melasma is a skin condition where the skin darkens in patches on the face or neck, sometimes mimicking a mask. It is also called "the pregnancy mask," as it can affect women that are pregnant or women who have changes in their hormones. If you are beginning to see these patches on your skin, they can worsen and become an all-over patch on your face. Melasma cannot be cured, but it can be treated with bleaching creams. To help you prevent melasma in the first place or prevent it from worsening, read on for some helpful tips.

Wear Sunscreen

You should wear sunscreen whenever you are out in the sun, but if you are already having problems with these darkening patches, you need to be extra careful with your skin. Apply sunscreen anytime you are out in the sun using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50. Reapply the sunscreen to your face and your body every hour that you are out in the sun. You may sweat off the sunscreen, or if you are swimming, it can wash off as well. Reapply the sunscreen each hour.

Try To Get Your Hormones Under Control

Melasma can occur in women that have experienced a change in their hormones. If you are pregnant, this isn't going to be possible. If you have had changes to your hormones such as changes to your birth control, you need to either make adjustments to your birth control or limit your exposure to the sun until you get your hormones under control. If the birth control isn't absolutely necessary, see about getting off of it for a while to give your body a break.

Limit Sun Exposure

If at all possible, try to limit how much you are in the sun. Wear lightweight clothing to cover your skin when you are outside to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect the delicate skin on your face.

If you are showing signs of dark patches on your skin, you need to do what you can to protect your skin from darkening further. Talk to a dermatologist about melasma and about what other things you can do to help prevent it, as well as treat this condition if you already have it. Bleaching treatments may be necessary in order to lighten the patches for an even skin tone.