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MELASMA – a simple informative guide
Melasma Treatment in Ayurveda is an effective and natural way of treating melasma. In Ayurveda melasma is compared with Vyangya. It is described as a painless blueish black patch occurring especially on the face. Various Ayurvedic research has shown that melasma treatments in Ayurveda have shown significant improvements in melasma patients.
Have you ever been scared of patches on your face mainly brownish patches on your face? If yes, you should know more about melasma. There should be a reason for your skin to manifest such a change. What could be that?
Melasma is a cosmetic problem that affects predominantly women compared to men. A person who is having melasma has an impact on appearance as it mainly affects the face causing emotional and psychological distress along with a reduced quality of life.
What is melasma?
Melasma is a common skin problem that causes changes in normal skin pigmentation. It is usually seen on unexposed areas of the body.
Melasma is come common in females compared to men.
The word melanoma is derived from the Greek root “melas”, which means black. It was also called Chloasma derived from Greek means ‘greenish’ but now the term melanoma is widely used.
Melasma is also known as the ‘Mask of pregnancy’ as it was seen more during pregnancy.
Causes for melasma
Hormonal changes, UV ray exposure, excess sunlight exposure, family history, age-related changes, pregnancy-related changes, use of oral contraceptives, etc can be the reason behind those patches on your face. Sometimes melasma is also called pregnancy shield and another name is chloasma. Melasma is also seen in women who take oral contraceptives.
At What age, Melasma is seen?
Melasma is seen between 20 and 40 years depending on pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives.
What does melanoma look like?
Melasma is seen commonly in women. Darker pigmentation affects the upper lip, malaria regions, forehead, and chin. The pigmentary changes are seen bilaterally and symmetrical.
How to diagnose melasma?
This condition is self-diagnosable and does not require lab tests to identify. This is mostly seen in areas exposed to sunlight mainly the forehead and cheeks, side of the nose, etc.
Woods lamp examination is helpful to identify the depth of melanin pigmentation and helps to identify the type of melasma.
Association and prevalence of melasma
You can often find melasma associated with thyroid problems, skin pigmentation, and Vitamin B 12 deficiency.
Did you know?
More than 1 million melasma people are diagnosed with melasma per year in India. It’s pretty common in fact. Remember, your aunty in the neighborhood asking for home remedies for her facial patches to your mom, right? Menopause is also one of the risk factors for this condition and women are more prone to get melasma.
Melasma is also associated with excessive use of oral contraceptive pills. Young girls keep note of this fact, and take precautions wisely! It is also found in endocrinal disorders like Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, etc. Other causes are metabolic diseases like diabetes mellitus, irritation caused by chemical cosmetics, etc.
This is seen more in dark-complexioned people whereas freckles are seen in young people with fair complexion. Freckles are small circular patches seen mainly on the face.
Classification of melasma
Three types of melasma are mainly
- Epidermal type with the light brown colour of patches,
- Dermal type with the bluish-grey colour of patches and
- Mixed type with the dark brown colour of patches.
Treatment for Melasma
Treatment of melanoma is difficult due to its stubborn nature and recurrence in nature.
Various skin depigmentation medicines are used in treating melanoma.
The first line of Treatment
- Sun protection/ Application of sunscreen (SPF>30)
- Change of oral contraceptive or changing to a different contraceptive
- Avoiding phytotoxic drugs and scented cosmetics
- Topical treatments
The second line of Treatment
- Chemical peels
- Topical treatments
The third line of Treatment
- Laser therapy
- Topical treatments
- Dermabrasion, etc…
What to expect from melanoma treatment?
Melasma takes a long time to respond if it has been from a long time
Even after getting a good result from treatment, it can reoccur due to exposure to the sun and other reasons
Ayurvedic view of melasma – Vyanga
Vyanga occurs due to various reasons like suppression of vomiting, day sleep, intake of incompatible food combinations Viruddha Ahara, excess intake of hot spicy food, etc as per Ayurvedic classics. Taking excessive strain for speaking, singing, etc can also add to cause this condition.
Classification of Vyanga
- Vata type – patches are bluish-black in colour
- Pitta type – patches with edges coppery red in colour
- Kapha type- white, itchy patches
- Rakta type – red patches with tingling and burning sensation
How does Vyanga manifest on the skin?
General pathophysiology associated with this – Pitta and Vata when vitiated affects the second layer of skin called Lohita causing painless blackish circular discoloration called Vyanga.
Diet and lifestyle tips for melasma
- Avoid all food that causes an imbalance in the Rakta, pitta, and kapha energies in the body.
- Add green gram, rice, wheat, and green veggies to your diet.
- Add yoga practises like Surya namaskar, Bhujangasana , Sarvangasana in your daily routine.
- Practise Anuloma viloma pranayama for regulating breathing and increased blood flow to sense organs and face. This will also help to get a positive outlook and get a relaxed pleasant state of mind always. Give at least one hour to these lifestyle practices and you will be able to get better results.
Herbs used in melasma treatment
Ela, Sariva, Manjistha, Haridra, Chandana, Amla, and Daruharidra are some of the herbs of choice for treating melasma.
Ayurvedic Medicines used in Melasma Treatment
- Mahamanjisthadi kashaya,
- Pravala Bhasma,
- Chandra Prabha Vati,
- Patoladi kashaya,
- Maha tiktakam kashaya,
- Kaishora Guggulu,
- Gandhaka rasayana,
- Godanti Bhasma,
For external application
- Kunkumadi taila,
- Nalpamaradi taila,
- Kanaka tailam,
- Lodhradi lepa,
- Matulungadi lepa etc.
Melasma Treatment in Ayurveda
Melasma Treatment in Ayurveda depends on the severity of the disease. In early-stage melasma is treated effectively using ayurvedic medicines, dietary, and lifestyle changes.
When melasma is chronic in nature one may need to undergo detoxification therapies (panchakarma treatment) to cleanse the body and bring the balance to doshas. Ayurvedic detoxification helps in correcting hormonal imbalances and increases the efficacy of the medicines.
- Venesection (Sira vyadhana ),
- Leech therapy (Jalouka avacharana ),
- Herbal paste application (Mukha Lepa),
- Oil application on the face,
- Nasal installation of, medicinal drops (Nasya)
all these are told as therapeutic procedures helpful to manage your condition.
Melasma treatment at home
- Application of Green tea extract on the face is a well-known remedy to get rid of those patches on your face.
- Sandalwood and saffron mixed paste is also suitable, yet considering the high cost and less availability of these herbs in pure form, medicines like Kunkumadi tailam are more convenient and effective for use. Kunkumadi oil can be used as a night serum for getting glowing skin by regular use.
- Kunkumadi can also be added to turmeric paste and aloe vera gel if you wish to try it like a combo face pack. Aloe vera gel rehydrates dry skin and penetrates deep into skin layers.
- Turmeric can also work wonders on your skin. It is a powerful antiseptic and blood purifying herb.
- 1 tablespoon gram flour added to a pinch of turmeric and 2 tablespoons of curd or yogurt. In this formula, Lactic acid lightens skin tone.
- You can also resort to consuming turmeric milk internally for making your skin pure and clear.
- Lemon juice has vitamin c, which acts as an antioxidant and an effective bleaching agent. You can add lemon juice if you have normal skin with no allergy to citrus fruits.
- Tomato paste contains lycopene which can also soften your skin and increase blood circulation and make your face rosy and healthy.
- Indian sarsaparilla root is also a good choice. It is essentially – anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory in action. Root paste can be applied to the skin, it also reduces excess heat energy in your skin and thus decreases the possibility of heat rashes also.
Multi herbal face pack for melasma
Half tsp orange peel powder, sandalwood powder, Manjistha (Indian madder) with a pinch of turmeric paste and honey applied as face pack bestows good results. Honey in this face pack is also healing and soothing to your skin. Sandalwood and Indian madder reduces the heat energy and provides a cooling effect. Turmeric paste increases complexion and orange peel is nourishing in nature. Apply this face pack once a week. Take the paste, apply on your face circularly massaging the area under your eyes and keep it for 15 minutes and wash it off before it completely gets dry.
Take refuge in nature, explore more amazing facets of Ayurveda and get more vitality and healthy existence with ease.
“This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this WebSite. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call or visit your doctor.”
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