In tropical and equatorial regions country, there are blessed with alround year sun shine, our face and skin are also enjoying this full year exposure of sunlight. Therefore, sometimes brown or gray brown patches start to appear on the face ( both side ), cheeks, upper lips , nose , forehead or chin and these symptoms cause a significant psychological impact on the person. This condition is largely seen in females and as many as 40% of Asian females ( Malaysian ) and only 10% do occur in men.
What are these dark patches ?
These dark patches are know as Malasma and it occurs predominantly in women ans its usually associated with hormonal changes [during pregnancy or when taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) ]. Melasma during pregnancy is also sometimes called " mask of pregnancy" or "chlosma" as these dark patches typically last ntil the pregnancy ends.
The other most important factor inthe development of melasma is exposure to sunlight. Exposure to sunlight even during daily activities can further darken the melasma.
What is Melasma ?
Melasma is a natural darkening of the skin caused by excessive production of melanin ( melanin is the pigment that causes the skin to tan) . The possible mechanism is stimulation of pigment producing cells ( melanocytes) by the female sex hormones ( estrogen and progestrone) to produce more melanin when the skin exposed to sunlight. That is why the sunlight which will increase melanin production usually makes your melasma become bad. Melasma can be categorise into mild, moderate and severe depending on the condition of discoloration of your face.
Why People have Melasma ?
Experts believe that the primary culprit for the initiation and exacerbation of melasma is exposure to sunlight as ultraviolet light from the sun, and even very strong light from light bulbs , can stimulate pigment repducing cells or melanocytes int he skin.
The skin's pigment , melanin absorbs the energy of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays in order to protect the skin from overexposure. Skin tanning occurs as a results of this process. Current opinions are that melasma damage is done during the younger days ( 10-15 years old) due to high exposure to strong sunlight and the damage is carried over their adult lives. The use of sun blood is highly recommended for all children who are actively involve in outdoor activities.
Other Melasma Triggers and risk factors include :-
A. Heredity . People with a family history of melasma are more likely to develop it.
More than 30% of people with melasma have a family histry of this skin disorder.
B. Female hormones estrogen and progestrone .
Melasma is often associated with the female hormones estrogen and progestrone.
Its especially common in pregnant women. Melasma also occurs as a side effect of taking oral contraceptives ( birth control pills ) and injected depot contraceptive prepartions. The incidence of oral contaceptive induced melasma has been reported to range from 10% -30% . progestrone sems toplay a critical role in the development of melasma.
C. Thyroid dysfunction.
Thyroid dysfnction may also lead to development of melasma.
Women with a light brown skin type who are living in regions with intense sun exposure ar eparticularly susceptible to developing this condition.
E. Certain medication .
Phototoxic and photoallergic medications ( e.g. tetracycline, anti-malarial drugs, anti-epileptic medications ) have been reported to cause melasma in rare cases.
Management of Melasma .
Fortunately you do not have to live or hide your face with melasma as there are various options to treat it today.
One of the most important preventive options is sun protection. That's is because every week , like most people in Malaysia, we are exposed to about 18hours of UV radiation during normal activities and the majority of people are not aware of theneed for daily sun protection. In fact , a recent survey from the American Academy of Dermatology reports that almost 86% of Americans do not realize that they need to wear sun block everyday, year round. Minimizing your exposure to sunlight even during daily activities can help prevent further darkeinginof existing melasma as well as forming new patches. This is a very improtant part of treatment as melasma is a chronic condition and can recur especially with unprotected usn expossure even after being succesfully treated. broad spectrum sun block that effectivelly protects against both ultraviolet radiation A and b must be always used when one is going outdoors. The use of umbrella , hats and sun glasses is also hightly recommended when one is going outdoor.
MECHANISM OF ACTION OF HOMEOPATHY REMEDIES FOR MELASMA
Usually dermalogist and professional skin therapist remove melanin throught desquamation, block transfer of melanosomes to the epidermis or reduce the formation of melanin. Hydroquinone is the most frequently used and considerred as the gold standard in melasma therapy. Hydroquinone inhibits tyrosinase and prevent the converstion of tyrosine to melanin. It may also destro melanocytes. However adverse effects such as irritant dermatitis , post inflammatory hyperpigmentation as localized ochronisis especially with increasing concentratin may be problematic when use alone.
Homeopathy remedies works opposite ways. Homeopathy remedies such as Silicea, Calcarea Flouricum,Calcarea Phosphoricum, Sulphur, Asoka, Avena, , Pulsatilla, Berberis Aquifolium, Chelidonium, Thuja and others will not inhibit the natural process of the skin on melanin production. It will vitalised melanocytes to produce less melanin naturally via the body atutoimmune intelligent to produce less melanin and thus strenthening the skin cells to stay healty and remove excessive melanin in the skin. Treatment with homeopathy will not be a long as we just need to trigger our body hormonal system to produce enzymes and direct melanocytes to produce less melanin or remove melanin via autoimmune intelligent in our body.
Results of the treatment will be naturally permanent cure and no side effects as there will not be a prolong consumption of homeopathy remedies and one once in a while needed a reboost for the remedies. Homeopathy remedies not only strenghten the skin vitality and its also balance the hormonal changes.
With homeopathy remedies, people with melasma pigmentation, their skin will heal faster and their mental psychology strength will be revitalised due to the fact remedies act totally on their hormonal imbalances due to physical, chemical, radiation and mental stresses . Once the body vitality improved and strengthen, autoimmune system will work according to body need to balance all homestatis in metabolism and enzyme actions. With these homeostatis, all toxics will be eliminate from body via sweat, stools, urine are achieved and body will remove all health problems as well as the skin melasma and other organ stresses.
Dr Edde Chan
Malaysian Homeopathy Medical Council