Chloasma: Symptoms and Treatment
Chloasma (melasma) is a pathological process that leads to hyperpigmentation of the skin on the face. As a rule, spots are dark brown or brown and have clear boundaries. Clinicians note that the pathological process develops as a result of excessive deposition of the melanin pigment at a particular site of the epidermis. The disease manifests itself predominantly in women.
The exact cause of the appearance of chloasma on the face is not currently established, however, clinicians believe that it can develop due to such etiological factors:
- metabolic or endocrine disorders
- chronic liver disease;
- changes in the hormonal background, which explains the manifestation of chloasma in pregnant women
- inflammatory processes of the genitourinary system
- the consequences of using oral contraceptives
- Excessive exposure to the skin of sunlight or artificial ultraviolet rays without a protective cream
In addition, chloasma on the face can have an autoimmune nature. It is not excluded and genetic predisposition.
Identify such forms of manifestation of this disease:
- perioral chloasma;
- pigmentary perioral dermatosis
- Dyschromia is a pigmented line that runs from the forehead to the cheek, sometimes reaches the neck.
The spots are localized, as a rule, on the face. Rarely, but still occur, rashes in the abdomen and hips. The clinical picture can manifest itself in the following symptoms:
- enhanced pigmentation of individual skin areas on the face
- Spots have clear boundaries and do not protrude over the skin;
- the sizes of the formations can be from a minor 1-2 centimeters, to the dimensions that cover the face or limbs;
- rashes are single, localized, rarely — plural
- itching, burning, and the like, no additional symptoms.
Separately, we should highlight the localization of this disease. It is noted that the spots appear, most often on the forehead, in the cheeks, nose or chin.
Chloasma can also be a manifestation of pathological processes in the liver. In this case, the clinical picture can be supplemented by specific signs of a certain underlying cause of the disease.
First of all, a thorough physical examination of the patient is made, with clarification of complaints and anamnesis of the disease and life. To clarify the diagnosis, such laboratory-instrumental examinations are carried out:
- general clinical and biochemical blood test
- general urine analysis
- Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity;
- tests for dysbacteriosis;
- microscopic examination of feces.
If this ailment manifests itself in women, then to avoid or confirm pathological processes in the reproductive system, a gynecologist’s consultation is necessary.
Since the clinical picture is similar to other skin diseases, differential diagnostics with such pathologies is carried out:
- «Mongolian spot»
- Professional melasma,
- secondary hyperpigmentation;
- giant pigment nevus.
Treatment of chloasma is prescribed only by the attending physician, after the diagnosis is established. Self-medication, in this case, is unacceptable.
Therapy of this pigmentation is complex and consists in carrying out physiotherapeutic procedures and correction of endocrine and metabolic processes in the body. Medication therapy may include the following drugs:
- tyrosinase inhibitors
- Vitamin C derivatives
- inhibitors of pigment synthesis in melanocytes.
Vitaminotherapy is mandatory:
- Folic and ascorbic acid
- B vitamins.
The physiotherapeutic procedures include:
- Phenol and glycol peeling.
In more complex cases, chemical peeling is used to eliminate pathology.
It should be understood that all described methods of treatment should be used repeatedly and only in conjunction with vitamin and drug therapy. In addition to the main treatment, patients with chloasma should avoid direct sunlight on the skin. To protect the skin, you need to use special means that a dermatologist or a cosmetologist can choose.
Since the appearance of chloasma may be due to a violation of metabolic processes in the body, it may be necessary to adjust the diet or diet. In any case, treatment should be prescribed only by a doctor.
It should be noted that with the manifestation of chloasma in pregnant women, drug therapy is completely excluded. As far as hardware methods of treatment are concerned, they are also not used, if possible. The reason is that the above procedures can be dangerous for the health of both the mother and the child. Clinicians note that in most cases, hyperpigmentation occurs after the birth of a child.
Since the etiological factors of this disease are not established, there are no specific prevention methods. However, you can reduce the risk of melasma development if you follow the following recommendations:
- protect the skin from direct sunlight with the help of special cosmetic means
- eat properly and in a timely manner
- fully treat all ailments
- systematically undergo preventive examinations with doctors
If you have the above described clinical picture, you should contact a dermatologist, rather than self-medicate.