How to Treat and Prevent Melasma with Nutrition
Melasma is a skin condition that commonly affects pregnant women and anyone who has spent too much time in the sun. Melasma can appear anywhere on the body where the skin is exposed to sunlight. In addition, hormonal imbalances in pregnant women or women taking hormonal contraceptives often cause melasma, which manifests itself as dark spots and colored patches on the skin. This is sometimes referred to as a pregnant mask.
Melasma can occasionally be a symptom of malnutrition and poor liver health. Brown to gray patches on the neck, underarms, chin, upper lip, cheeks, forehead, or bridge of the nose are symptoms of this skin condition that are difficult to treat. Melasma is more common in women and can persist even after childbirth.
Like other skin conditions, melasma can be treated with chemical peels, topical lotions, laser therapy, skin protection, hormone replacement therapy, and a balanced diet. Talk to a dermatologist or doctor before treating your melasma. The following four simple steps provide advice on how to improve and prevent melasma.
Consult a dermatologist or medical professional regarding your melasma. You will likely be advised to have a blood test to look for nutritional deficiencies and impaired liver function that could be the cause of this condition. Melasma could also be a negative side effect of your medication. Confirm this with your doctor.
Eat foods rich in folate. Melasma can result from folate or folic acid deficiency. Women who use birth control, are pregnant, or eat an inappropriate diet may have low B vitamin levels. Foods high in folic acid include whole grains, nuts, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables. Your doctor may also recommend that you start taking a folic acid supplement.
Your diet should have a healthy copper balance. Copper promotes melanin production in the skin. Therefore, high levels of this mineral can lead to excessive skin pigmentation. Copper should not be consumed separately when included in your multivitamin. Never exceed the daily copper recommendations of:
- 900 mcg for adults,
- 1,000 mcg for pregnant women,
- and 1,300 mcg for nursing mothers.
Eat foods high in vitamin C and iron or take supplements with these nutrients to reduce excessive copper levels.
Start eating more foods high in vitamin C and E. Rich in antioxidants, these foods help repair skin damage from UV rays that can lead to melasma. These vitamins are found in foods like kiwis, blueberries, citrus fruits, nuts, brightly colored vegetables, and fish. Before treating yourself, have your melasma diagnosed by a professional.
Increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet to ensure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals. Avoid packaged and processed foods that contain artificial chemicals and preservatives. Food sensitivities and allergic reactions can also cause inflammation in the skin, which can lead to pigmented areas like dark spots. It is also recommended to avoid inflammatory foods, which can also contribute to skin inflammation.
Melasma, sun damage, and even skin cancer can be prevented by wearing sunscreen and avoiding harmful UV rays. You must see your dermatologist or family doctor if you discover melasma anywhere on your body.
Avoid taking too many supplements as they can have adverse side effects. Finally, you should not stop taking prescription medications without consulting your doctor.