Melasma is a hyper-pigmentation disorder that results in brown discoloration on the face and the upper lip. Melasma most often afflicts women.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, only ten (10) percent of those who have the skin condition are men. Additionally, ethnicities with darker skin (Asian, Hispanic, Mediterranean, etc.) are more susceptible to Melasma.
Melasma Upper Lip – Causes
There are many different causes of melasma on the upper lip. Generally, with skin discolorations of this nature, hormones play a big role in the occurrence of the skin condition. Add to that a cocktail of genetics, sun exposure, and an overproduction of estrogen, usually resulting from the use of oral contraceptives, pregnancy, hormone replacement during menopause, or even your own naturally occurring hormones.
Melasma ? Why Me ?
Sun and Pregnancy
Typically, most people who suffer from melasma or have developed it over time, live in areas with intense sun exposure. Also, women who have just had a baby also develop this condition (however, with Melasma resulting from pregnancy, the dark spots tend to fade over time).
Melasma can be a very embarrassing ordeal to have to go through. Dark spots on your upper lip can affect your self-image and just how attractive you regard yourself. Consequently, you may begin to consider treatment options to get rid of the Melasma that has developed on your upper lip.
Again, if you are taking oral contraceptives, are pregnant, or are undergoing hormone treatment you may find that the dark spots may gradually fade away.
Melasma and Hydroquinone
However, if you find that the melasma is not fading or the condition is getting worse, you may want to look into skin lighteners, with the active ingredient Hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is found in many skin bleachers or lighteners and can be obtained over the counter or through a doctor’s prescription. Generally, the lowest strength 2% can only be obtained over the counter; anything higher and you may need to obtain a prescription.
Caution – please read more here on hydroquinone products
If you decide that skin lighteners are your best option then you must follow the directions of the product to the letter to avoid any unwanted side-effects.
Also, you must be diligent with use. Depending on how dark your skin is, you may see immediate results (less than four weeks) or it may take longer for the Melasma to fade.
Please note, that if you live in an area that has intense sun exposure you may run the risk of the spots reappearing. It would be advantageous to use some sort of sunscreen to prevent the Melasma from returning.
Some skin lighteners that can be purchased over the counter even have built-in sunscreens for added protection.
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