Melasma is a prevalent condition affecting both men and women. Although it doesn’t impact health, it can be physically and mentally distressing. There are various types of melasma, with one of the most noteworthy being endocrine melasma. So, what distinguishes endocrine melasma from the typical variety? Let’s delve into its causes and treatment.
What Is Endocrine Melasma?
Endocrine melasma, also referred to as deep melasma, arises due to hormonal imbalances, leading to the development of dark skin patches. This condition commonly affects women aged 30 and older, particularly during pregnancy and postpartum. Adequate comprehension and appropriate treatment are essential for addressing hormonal melasma.
How to differentiate between hormonal melasma and regular melasma?
Clearly identifying the type of melasma being experienced can streamline the treatment process. Melasma can arise from various causes, including genetic factors, external influences, and hormonal imbalances within the body.
Cause of Formation
As women reach the age of around 30 or older, estrogen levels in the body undergo sudden changes. Estrogen serves as a sex hormone with the additional function of suppressing the production of melanin-stimulating hormones beneath the skin. If this hormone functions irregularly, it can lead to an accumulation of melanin, resulting in the development of dark spots on the skin.
Using incorrect medications is a common cause of melasma in many women. The side effects of these drugs can disrupt hormone levels, potentially leading to melasma. Depending on an individual’s susceptibility, unsuitable medications may result in skin irritation within 2 to 3 months.
Another common cause of hormonal melasma is prolonged stress. When the body experiences chronic stress, it directly affects ovarian activity, leading to hormonal imbalances and skin pigmentation. Unfortunately, many individuals tend to underestimate the impact of stress.
In women, hormonal melasma can also be triggered by factors such as:
- Contraceptives: Birth control pills containing progestins, when not well-suited to an individual’s body, can cause hormonal disruptions, resulting in skin pigmentation.
- Pregnant or postpartum women: Hormonal, physical, and mental changes are common during pregnancy and after childbirth. Hormone levels in the body fluctuate, with both increases and rapid decreases, leading to the inevitable formation of melanin pigments on the skin.
- Menopause and irregular menstruation: The menstrual cycle can be significantly affected by diet, daily activities, and rest. Any disruption during this period, including irregular menstruation, heavy menstrual bleeding, or menopause, can also contribute to the development of melasma.
Symptoms of Endocrine MelasmaIndividuals with endocrine melasma commonly exhibit the following symptoms:
- Irregular menstruation
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor appetite
- Increased acne
Appearance: Hormonal melasma typically presents as dark brown patches, often characterized by clusters of hyperpigmented cells. These patches vary in size and may be interspersed across the affected area.
The severity of hormonal melasma on the skin may indicate the extent of the body’s endocrine imbalance.
Location: It primarily appears asymmetrically on both cheeks and may also occur on the temples. In some cases, it spreads evenly across the forehead or extends to the arms and other body areas, affecting adjacent skin regions.
While hormonal melasma is primarily driven by internal factors, typical melasma is usually attributed to external causes, which are related to environmental influences. These causes are often associated with lifestyle choices, dietary habits, rest patterns, and skincare practices.
Common factors contributing to skin pigmentation include:
Sun exposure and blue light: Daily exposure to sunlight’s UV rays, thermal radiation, and the blue light emitted by electronic devices can affect the skin. As individuals reach the age of 30 and beyond, their skin’s health gradually deteriorates, and the protective skin barrier becomes thinner. This creates a favorable environment for harmful agents to harm the fragile skin. Additionally, the skin becomes more susceptible to bacterial penetration, which can result in issues like acne, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.
- Environmental Pollution: While environmental pollution such as dust, car exhaust, and chemicals may not be the direct causes of melasma, they can exacerbate skin conditions.
- Low-Quality Cosmetics: Some individuals opt for low-quality, inexpensive cosmetics that offer no real benefits to the skin and can even have adverse effects. These cosmetics, often of dubious origin, may contain harmful ingredients that adversely impact the skin’s protective barrier. This can result in thinner, weaker skin that is more susceptible to sun damage and environmental pollution, leading to the development of brown spots, dark spots, and acne.
Common Symptoms of Melasma
Similar to endocrine melasma, individuals with normal melasma exhibit the following symptoms:
- Morphology: Normal melasma is characterized by melanin pigment cells that are dispersed rather than concentrated. They tend to form in large, scattered groups.
- Location: Melasma typically appears predominantly on the cheeks, forehead, temples, and arms.
Effective Methods for Treating Endocrine Melasma
Now that you are aware of the causes and the distinction between hormonal melasma and regular melasma, let’s explore the following treatment options for hormonal melasma.
Treating Melasma Through Skin Care Practices
Maintain Emotional Balance
Frequent stress and tension are contributors to hormonal skin pigmentation. They can lead to elevated levels of estrogen hormones, resulting in the spread of melasma on the skin’s surface. To combat this, it is essential to maintain emotional balance and keep a relaxed mindset. You can reduce anxiety through practices such as meditation, music therapy, or engaging in activities like shopping.
Establish a Healthy Sleep Routine
Adequate and restful sleep contributes to smoother skin and helps balance hormone levels in the body. Moreover, it supports better skin regeneration. Thus, maintaining a proper sleep schedule is a straightforward and effective way to minimize hormonal pigmentation that should not be overlooked.
Cut Back on Caffeine
Studies suggest that caffeine can impact hormones and digestion. To reduce the risk of melasma, it’s recommended to reduce the consumption of caffeinated beverages and foods. This approach supports the health and suppleness of your skin.
Maintain Proper Nutrient Intake
An important strategy for treating hormonal melasma is to maintain a balanced diet. It’s crucial to include essential nutrients in your diet, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and potent antioxidants.
Additionally, it’s advisable to avoid consuming foods that can contribute to skin pigmentation, such as red meat, eggs, or seafood.
Hormone Balancing Medications
In addition to improving your diet and ensuring proper rest, hormonal melasma can also be addressed with medication. There are numerous effective hormone-balancing medications available today. These medications help eliminate toxins, enhance skin resilience, and effectively prevent skin pigmentation. However, it’s important to consult a dermatologist before using hormone-balancing medications to determine the appropriate treatment rather than self-medicating.
Utilize Melasma Creams
If you’re concerned about treating hormonal melasma effectively, consider using melasma creams. There are various anti-melasma creams available on the market, providing you with a range of options to choose from based on your specific needs.
However, it’s crucial to thoroughly research melasma creams from reputable brands. The market is flooded with low-quality cream products, so consumers must exercise caution and diligence. Consulting a healthcare professional before using any melasma cream is advisable to avoid unforeseen consequences.
Treating Hormonal Melasma with Natural Ingredients
Using natural masks for treating melasma has become a popular method. For mild and recently developed melasma, you can create masks at home using simple ingredients, such as:
Combat Melasma with a Turmeric and Fresh Milk MaskTurmeric is a highly effective beauty ingredient known for its curcumin content, which can help fade skin pigmentation and acne scars. Additionally, turmeric boasts antibacterial properties that promote smoother, brighter skin. When combined with fresh milk, this mask can help restore a smooth and radiant complexion.
- Begin by gathering turmeric and unsweetened fresh milk.
- Mix the fresh milk and turmeric thoroughly.
- After cleansing your face, apply the mixture and leave it on for approximately 15 minutes.
- Rinse your skin with water.
Treating Melasma with a Lemon Mask:
For those seeking ways to address hormonal melasma, consider using lemon. Lemon contains acidic compounds and ample vitamin C, which can effectively reduce skin pigmentation and promote the formation of new, healthier skin cells
- Squeeze the juice from a lemon and saturate a cotton swab with it.
- Carefully apply the lemon juice to the pigmented areas.
- Allow it to sit for approximately 20 minutes, then rinse your face with warm water.
Tips for Treating Melasma with Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is another highly effective natural ingredient for achieving smooth and radiant skin. Studies have shown that coconut oil contains lauric acid, which can help reduce melanin pigmentation.
- Start by cleansing the skin with warm water.
- Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the skin and massage it thoroughly to allow the nutrients to penetrate.
- Leave the coconut oil on the skin for 15-20 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
Treating Melasma with Apple Cider Vinegar and Yogurt:
Apple cider vinegar contains amino acids and various vitamins, making it an effective treatment for mild hormonal melasma.
- Mix apple cider vinegar and yogurt together.
- Apply the mixture to your skin and massage it for approximately 10 minutes.
- Finally, rinse your face with warm water.
Mask for Skin Pigmentation with Oatmeal, Honey, and Fresh Milk
Oats contain components that effectively eliminate dead cells and rejuvenate the skin. Honey possesses excellent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Consequently, this mask, consisting of these three ingredients, proves to be a superb treatment for melasma.
How to Prepare:
- Mix all 3 ingredients together.
- Then, massage the mixture onto your skin and let the mask absorb for about 20 minutes.
- Finally, ladies, cleanse your skin with water.
In addition to the hormonal skin pigmentation treatments mentioned above, you can also explore modern melasma treatment technologies at a reputable and high-quality spa.
Methods to Minimize the Occurrence of Endocrine Melasma
Endocrine melasma can be challenging to treat, so it’s essential to adopt preventive measures to minimize skin pigmentation and hormonal melasma. Consider the following methods:
- Stress Management: High levels of stress can accelerate skin aging and promote pigmentation. Maintain a healthy work-life balance and incorporate relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
- Balanced Diet: Consuming more fruits and vegetables not only enhances skin beauty and smoothness but also helps prevent melasma. Maintain a well-rounded diet to promote smoother skin.
- Regular Mask Application: Using natural or sheet masks can boost skin resilience, tighten pores, and combat signs of aging. Regular mask application can help prevent skin pigmentation.
- Quality Cosmetics: Avoid low-quality cosmetics, as they can irritate the skin and contribute to melasma. Choose high-quality, skin-friendly cosmetics for better results.
By following these practices, you can reduce the likelihood of developing endocrine melasma and maintain healthier, more vibrant skin.
Skin Protection: Sun exposure is a primary factor leading to skin pigmentation, including various forms of melasma. Hence, it’s crucial to protect your skin and use effective sunscreen.
Moreover, staying well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water promotes smooth and radiant skin.
With the information provided above, you should now be able to differentiate between melasma and endocrine melasma, as well as understand effective treatment methods. If you’re seeking a reputable destination for managing endocrine melasma and melasma-related concerns, prioritize quality in your choice.
Johnny Jacks was born in 1985 in Texas, USA. He is the founder of Good Health Plan and is passionate about helping people improve their health and physical well-being. With over a decade of experience working in the healthcare industry, he currently works at Goodheathplan.com – a blog that shares knowledge on beauty and health.