A condition in which brown patches appear on the face. Melasma can be due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or from sun exposure. Women are much more likely than men to develop this condition. The brown or grey-brown patches of melasma appear most often on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and chin.
This means birth control pills, pregnancy, and hormone therapy can all trigger melasma. Stress and thyroid disease have also been postulated to be causes of melasma. Sun exposure can also cause melasma because the ultraviolet rays affect the cells that control pigment (melanocytes)
Melasma causes patches of discoloration. The patches are darker than your usual skin colour. It normally occurs on the face and is symmetrical, with similar marks on both sides of your face. Other areas of your body that are often exposed to sun can also develop melasma.
Brownish colored patches usually appear on the:
- bridge of the nose
It can also crop up on the neck and forearms. The skin discoloration doesn’t do any physical harm, but you may feel self-conscious about the way it look.
Acharya Charaka defined this disorder as the disease which manifests over the face due to vitiation of Vata and pitta resulting in painless (neeruja), thin (tanu) and bluish black /brown (shyama), circular patches (mandalanvita).
Suppression of vomiting Heavy facial exercises like singing, reading loudly, speaking etc immediately after food Exposure to intense heat, excessive sun exposure Day sleep
Blood vitiating factors such as wrong food combinations, excess spicy foods and so on
Factors aggravating the pitta dosha like fear, anger, grief etc
The features are explained based on Dosha dominance:
Vataja Vyanga – Skin appears uneven with bluish black patches/spots
Pittaja Vyanga – boundaries are coppery red
Kaphaja Vyanga – boundaries are white and associated with itching
Raktaja- boundaries are red and coppery red in the center and associated with tingling and burning sensation.