Melasma is a skin change that mainly affects the face and is caused by hyperpigmentation resulting from the exaggerated accumulation of melanin in the epidermis. It can be induced by different factors, such as genetic predisposition, excessive sun exposure, pregnancy, thyroid disorders, drugs and oral contraceptive pills, so it mostly affects women. However, it is important to note the role of nutrition in melasma.
Several treatment options are currently available, but none of them are effective or work in the short term.. The most important thing is to evaluate the patient in a way Individualized. Along with that, a Adequate nutritional history should be done to calculate total protein intake and look for any signs of vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
Oral medications and dietary supplements can be used to treat melasma, although the most common ways to deal with melasma are the use of sun protection and topical agents.
Role of Nutrition in Melasma
Several recent studies have demonstrated a significant advantage of the high-protein diet and good nutrition. in the management of these patients. For when the body is depleted of important macronutrients, such as protein, the body deals with non-renewal or self-destruction in relatively less important places, such as skin and hair, to conserve proteins for more active and vital tissues, such as muscles.
Patients are also recommended to have breakfast no later than 2 hours before sunrise, respecting the circadian rhythm and hormonal balance. Logic allows to take care of dietary causes in parallel, if any.
Atlanta Medical Dermatology experts
have shown that antioxidants they also help repair the UV damage that causes melasma. Therefore, insert as many vitamins as possible and foods rich in antioxidants, especially foods rich in Vitamin C and E such as citrus fruits, kiwis, pistachios, almonds, flaxseeds, colorful vegetables and fish (especially salmon) is key in the treatment of melasma.
In addition, foods rich in folate as folic acid deficiency can lead to melasma. You can find this vitamin in citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. You may also need adjust your copper intake. This is because copper causes extra pigmentation of the skin, promoting the production of melanin.
This also helps in building skin tissue, improving additional treatment options such as chemical peels and lasers while minimizing the additional risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, as well as preventing future recurrences in some cases.
It is also recommended to evaluate blood testing with hemoglobin, vitamin D, B12, iron, and thyroid function tests in all patients with melasma.
Thus, food in addition to acting in prevention is also important in the treatment of melasma. You should be especially aware of the amount of protein ingested, add antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, and adjust your folate and copper intake. In addition, ordering a blood test evaluating hemoglobin, vitamin D, B12, iron, and thyroid function tests helps understand possible nutritional deficiencies in patients with melasma.
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Article: Garg S, Tuknayat A, Hans T. How I manage resistant melasma? CosmoDerma 2022;2:8.