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Mélasma et peau noire : spécificité et traitement

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Melasma and black skin

Specifications and treatments

 melasma on dark skin

Melasma on dark skin - illustration picture


Melasma is characterized by an irregular brown pigmentation on the face. The principal location is the top of the cheeks, in the form of a mask. As such, it appears secondary to a hormonal impregnation, its popular name is « pregnancy mask" (chloasma).

This pathology is more frequent on black skin population. Melasma is a benign dermatisis but it can create a psychic effect the fact that lesions are visible on the face.


From greek language « melas », meaning « black »,  melasma is a dermatosis with excessive pigmentation on the photo-exposed areas, particularly the face. It can affect men but it’s most often appears on women skin because of the preponderant role of hormones.

There, are the four locations in order of frequency :


-    centrofacial : cheeks, forehead, chin, upper lip

-    malar : symmetrically distributed on cheeks et nose

-    mandibular : lips and chin

-    maxillary : upper jaw




In  most of case, melasma is due to female hormones. Indeed, there is an association between the increase in estrogen and progesterone concentration during pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptive pill or even hormone replacement therapy (menopause treatment) and melasma dermatosis. The biological effects of these two types of hormones are mediated by two distinct receptors whose expression increases in patients with melasma. However, in male population, the endocrine cause is rejected and the cause of this dermatosis is still unknown. Finally, because of the family and ethnic character, a genetic field seems to be possible.

 melasma on dark skin


To disclose lesions of melasma, inner factors need to be associated with external factors like:


    solar exposure : UV radiations stimulate melanogenesis resulting in an increase of melanin, causing the skin to darken. Nonetheless, accumulation of melanin in epidermis and dermis was found in microscopy on melasma skin patient. In addition, epidemiological studies suggest that sole sun exposure alone or sun exposure during pregnancy may trigger or aggravate melasma lesions. Moreover, lesions are more present in summer than in winter.


    local microtrauma : (e.g. friction during the toilet. Indeed, melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) are “mechanosensitive”: they are stimulated with mechanical friction. In addition, contrary to what one might think, dark skin is more sensitive than light skin and require gentle care to avoid this hyperpigmentary stimulation.


Melasma is a transitory disease on light skin but chronic on dark skin. Fortunately, the treatment can be efficiency


If the stain changes (change of color, size, presence of relief) or causes discomfort (tingling, burning, itching), do not hesitate to consult a dermatologist to rule out any potentially malignant dermatosis



Protocol based case


1.    Suppression of exogenous factors

 sun protection for dark skin

    Sun protection : in prevention or during the treatment. Even short exposure can lead to a darkening of lesion that could be longer to cure. Foster sidewalkshaded, shaded terrace, beach umbrellas. Wear a large hat and sunglasses. In addition, My sun fluid SPF 50 with UVA protection and that can effectively protect against UVB radiation. Its technology 0% white marks is suitable for dark skin. It is daily used in sunny weather, every 2 hours if the exposure is intense.


    To not damage skin face with a vigorous toilet, IN'OYA laboratory advises you to use CLEAN’OYA® My cleansing micellar water  on a cotton. It gently cleanses and removes make-up and soothe the skin thanks to bisabolol, a powerful active plant ingredient. A gentle exfoliation can also be done once a week to complete the skincare routine. CLEAN’OYA® EXTRA My gel cleanser exfoliating uses bamboo microbeads and a salicylic acid-based chemical exfoliation to regenerate the skin without  irritation and  to help the gradual elimination of the hyperpigmented epidermal layer.


 protection solaire peau noire IN'OYA eau micellaire peau noiregel nettoyant exfoliant peau noire

2.    Unifying treatment


Only after hormonal impregnation. IN’OYA laboratory developped MEL'OYA® My correcting serum  specifically formulated for dark and olive skin tones. It acts on two physiological level. It prevents the transport of melanosomes and inhibits the synthesis of melanins (action on the enzyme tyrosinase).


 melasma treatment on dark skin


A protocol adaptation must be require after 6 months with no result. Make a point on the following triggering factors (sun exposure, harmless skin face toilet, hormonal impregnation) and consider a dermatology consultation. Physical and chemical tools are more aggressive, there is a risk of secondary hyperpigmentation. These techniques require dermatologist advice and should not be performed innocently.


Finally, some « dermal » melasmas can not be treated at present. Only the dermatological examination can highlight this type of melasma, which remains rare compared to epidermal melasma mentioned above.




Y Gauthier. Mélasma : prise en charge globale. EMC - Dermatologie-Cosmétologie, Volume 1, Issue 2, May 2004, Pages 113-122

Ai-Young Lee. An updated review of melasma pathogenesis. Dermatologica sinica. Volume 32, Issue 4, December 2014, Pages 233-239

Abimelec : (consulté le 13/02/18)

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