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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 168-172

A descriptive case-control study on assessment of iron profile in patients with and without melasma

Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Megha Prakash
Department of Dermatology, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Banashankari, Bengaluru - 560 070, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/CDR.CDR_90_20

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Background: Melasma or chloasma is a common acquired hyper melanosis, characterized by dark, irregular hyperpigmented macules and patches over the malar areas, lips, nose and forehead. Iron overload manifests with skin hyperpigmentation. Therefore, it is important to understand the role of iron in patients with melasma. Objectives: (1) To assess serum iron profile in non-pregnant women and men with melasma. (2) To assess the same parameters in age and sex matched controls. Materials and Methods: A descriptive case–control study with 35 cases of melasma and 35 age and sex-matched controls was conducted between December 2019 and March 2020, to assess the association between melasma and iron deficiency. Results: Among 35 cases of melasma, 85.7% were females, the most common type was the malar type 68.8%, sunlight was the most-common risk factor and 100% had deranged iron profile. Mean ferritin levels in the melasma group was 15.204 ng/ml while in control group it was 71.717 ng/ml. Mean serum iron levels in melasma group was 28.585 μg/dl while in that of controls were 135.018 μg/dl. Other iron parameters also showed significant iron deficiency in melasma patients. Conclusion: Well-known factors implicated in the etiology of melasma include sunlight, Oral contraceptive pills with oestrogen, pregnancy and smoking. This study indicates that iron deficiency is also an important etiological factor and hence treatment of iron deficiency may be a novel therapeutic approach in patients with refractory melasma.

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