What is the difference between melasma and pigmentation


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    Melasma and pigmentation are both related to the color of the skin but have distinct differences. Melasma is a specific type of hyperpigmentation characterized by brown or gray-brown patches, typically on the face. It’s often triggered by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or birth control pills, and sun exposure can exacerbate it. Melasma patches are usually symmetrical and appear on areas like the cheeks, forehead, chin, and upper lip. Treatment for melasma often involves topical creams containing ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, or kojic acid, along with strict sun protection measures.

    On the other hand, pigmentation refers to any variation in skin color caused by an excess or deficiency of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. This can include freckles, age spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), and other forms of discoloration. Pigmentation can result from various factors such as sun exposure, inflammation from acne or injuries, hormonal changes, or genetic predispositions. Treatment for pigmentation issues depends on the specific cause and may involve topical treatments, chemical peels, laser therapy, or microneedling.

    In summary, while melasma is a specific type of hyperpigmentation with distinct characteristics and triggers, pigmentation is a broader term that encompasses various skin color irregularities. Understanding the underlying cause of pigmentation is crucial for selecting the most effective treatment approach, whether it’s for melasma or other forms of skin discoloration.

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