Which hormone causes pigmentation? Hormonal pigmentation; melasma; is one of the most stubborn form of hyperpigmentation. Although not impossible to treat, the causes are not 100% clear therefore even with clinical treatments you may not be able to completely remove the darkened patches. Although you may be able to lighten them temporarily. The direct causes of melasma according to current research are connection with hormonal changes, UV exposure, inflammation and a combination of genetics. Hence why it’s harder to treat. But let’s see how hormones play a part in your pigmentation.
What is melasma?
Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that’s triggered by your hormones. These can affect your melanin levels to change and produce more pigment. Melanin is the pigment that gives your skin its colour in the first place and is produced by your pigment cells (melanocytes).
Melasma is specifically common amongst women at all ages and is thought to occur when the female sex hormones estrogen ( increased levels ) and progesterone ( decline in levels) stimulate the overproduction of melanin when the skin is exposed to the sun. Many patient who suffer from melasma report a darkening during the sunny months as the UV draws the pigmentation more the surface as opposed to the winter months.
Which hormone causes pigmentation?
The underlying hormone responsible for triggering the melanocytes is melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH). MSH increases the production of melanin, which is responsible for the darkening of your skin.
Especially for female patients, the hormonal levels can fluctuate during different stages of life. For example pregnancy, while using oral contraception or during menopause – HRT ( hormone replacement therapy) can elevate estrogen levels that stimulate melanocytes to increase melaning production.
But other hormones can have a domino effect on your estrogen level too such as:
Cortisol – has a connection to your stress levels. When you stress ( meaning physical, psychological or emotional) your body releases more cortisol to help you cope with the stress. But cortisol will have a stimulating effect on your estrogen levels, that will then impact your MSH and just like that your cells product more pigment, putting you at risk of getting pigmentation.
Treating for hormonal pigmentation
As melasma is triggered by hormonal changes it’s more difficult to treat. And while you’re trying to get rid off it you also have to consider the internal triggering factors. While some patients see great results from their treatment, for others it’s the matter of preventing their discolouration from getting worse.
What works for one patient doesn’t necessarily work for another. For this reason there is no set number of treatments to treat melasma. Our experience of treating melasma patients reflects that a combination of sunscreen, brightening ingredients, and chemical peels work very well.
To learn more about your skin and how can you prevent acne why not visit us at the Clinic where my Expert team will be able to advise you further?
How to book an appointment?
As the first step of your skin journey at Skin Perfection, you’ll be invited to attend a no obligations consultation. This will give you the opportunity to get a good understanding of your skin.
During your first meeting you’ll receive all the information and knowledge you’ll need to keep your skin healthy. Finally to manage your skin concerns your practitioner will recommend you a personalised treatment plan.
Contact our team today to book an appointment.