Melasma is one of the most common and distressing pigmentary disorders presenting to dermatology clinics. The precise cause of melasma remains unknown; however, there are many possible contributing factors. It is notably difficult to treat and has a tendency to relapse. Its population prevalence varies according to ethnic composition, skin phototype and intensity of sun exposure. Due to its frequent facial involvement, the disease has an impact on the quality of life of patients.
Aims and Objectives: To study the clinical profile and clinical severity of patients of melasma and to assess their quality of life by using MELASQoL and DLQI scales.
Material and Methods: All patients with melasma were screened. A detailed history, clinical examination, and relevant investigations were done. Severity of melasma was assessed by calculating Melasma Area Severity Index (MASI) score. Quality of life was assessed using MELASQoL and DLQI scale with a standard structured questionnaire.
Results: In 100 cases of melasma, 79 were females and 21 were males. Most common age group affected was 21-30 years (45%). Sun exposure was found to be the most common aggravating factor observed in 35% of cases. Centro-facial type (69%) was the most common pattern observed. Mean MASI score was 7.61±4.98. Mean MELASQoL and DLQI scores were 33.36±13.49 and 9.37±5.28respectively, with most patients being bothered about their appearance, frustrated and embarrassed about their skin condition. A positive correlation was found between QoL and severity of melasma.
Conclusion: This study showed that melasma has a significant negative effect on QoL with MELASQoL and DLQI being useful tools to assess the QoL. Melasma though asymptomatic, affects self-esteem because of cosmetic concern.