Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Archives Instructions Submit article Search Subscribe Contacts Login
  • Users Online: 388
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 63-65

Melasma and MELASQOL: Using the Hindi MELASQOL in Indian patients

1 Department of Dermatology and Cosmetology, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Rajinder Nagar, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Dermatology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication27-Dec-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr Rashmi Sarkar
Professor, Department of Dermatology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-5847.196294

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Garg S, Sarkar R. Melasma and MELASQOL: Using the Hindi MELASQOL in Indian patients. Pigment Int 2016;3:63-5

How to cite this URL:
Garg S, Sarkar R. Melasma and MELASQOL: Using the Hindi MELASQOL in Indian patients. Pigment Int [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Mar 26];3:63-5. Available from: https://www.pigmentinternational.com/text.asp?2016/3/2/63/196294

Quality of life includes factors which impact an individual’s life. Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures physical, social, and psychological well-being of an individual and evaluates the burden of disease on daily life. Melasma affects the HRQOL due to its location on the face and disfiguring skin discoloration. It undermines the physical, emotional, psychological, and social well-being of those affected. Tools to measure HRQOL are general health questionnaires, dermatology-specific questionnaires, and disease-specific questionnaires.

Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) is a dermatology-specific questionnaire. In the study titled “A clinical study of melasma and assessment of DLQI at a tertiary health care center in South India,” the authors have used DLQI to evaluate the quality of life in those patients affected by melasma.[1] This quality of life assessment contains 10 items [Table 1]. The response of the patient is graded on a four-point scale ranging from “very much” to “not at all” against all the 10 items. The score of each item is added to give a total score ranging from “0” which represents “no effect” to “30” which represents “highest impairment to quality of life.” The advantages of using DLQI as a tool to measure the impact of melasma in patients are that it is a dermatology-specific questionnaire and it provides a holistic approach in the management of patients with melasma, as it covers various aspects of an individual’s life such as their feelings, symptoms, daily activity, work, leisure, personal relationships, and treatment. However, the shortcomings of this tool for assessing impact of melasma is that this questionnaire is not especially designed for melasma and incorporates certain questions which may not be entirely relevant for melasma such as how itchy, sore, painful, or stinging has your skin been (i.e., the physical symptoms), interference in going shopping or looking after home or garden and preventing to do work or studying (items 1, 3, and 7 of [Table 1]). It lacks the sensitivity for measuring the effect that a pigmentary disorder like melasma has on quality of life. The DLQI gives equal weight to physical and psychological distress caused by the skin diseases. Since melasma affects the psychosocial well-being far greater than the physical well-being, DLQI does not serve as a specific scale for melasma. In addition, DLQI is in English language. Since majority of the patients in India may not be conversant with good understanding of English language, it limits the application of this tool in our country.
Table 1: Dermatology Life Quality Index

Click here to view

Melasma Quality of Life Scale (MELASQOL) is a disease-specific questionnaire which was devised by Balkrishnan et al. in the year 2003.[2] This questionnaire specifically emphasizes the quality of life issues which are specific to melasma. It evaluates 10 items which focus more on the emotional and psychosocial aspects of melasma rather than the physical symptoms. In this questionnaire, seven items are from the Skindex-16 and three items are from a skin discoloration questionnaire. These 10 chosen items showed the highest correlation with both the Skindex-16 and the skin discoloration questionnaire. Each item is scored using a Likert scale ranging between 1 (not bothered at all) and 7 (bothered all the time). The MELASQOL score ranges from 7 to 70, with a higher score indicating worse quality of life.

This instrument which was first compiled in English language by Balkrishnan et al.[2] has now been translated and validated in various languages, including Hindi, Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Persian, and Turkish. Sarkar et al.[3] translated and validated this questionnaire in Hindi [Table 2]. The Hindi MELASQOL, being in Hindi language, is of practical importance to us as most of our patients are more conversant with reading and understanding Hindi language as compared to English. The high mean MELASQOL score in multiple studies conducted across various regions in different languages [Table 3] show that melasma has significant impact on the quality of life.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8] Melasma affects various domains of quality of life like social life, recreation and leisure, emotional well-being, money matters, physical health, and family relationships.
Table 2: Hindi MELASQOL

Click here to view
Table 3: MELASQOL in different languages

Click here to view

A specific questionnaire for melasma like MELASQOL is important as studies have shown that severity of melasma clinically assessed by Melasma Area Severity Index may not correlate with the quality of life in those affected.[2],[4],[5] This implies that the therapeutic decisions should not be entirely based on clinical severity assessed by the treating physician but must also incorporate the psychological impact that the disease has on the patient.

The concept of assessing the burden of disease has moved from only incorporating the physician’s assessment of the severity of disease mostly based on its physical impact on the patient to now incorporating the psychosocial hindrance that the disease has on the patient. Since melasma is present on the face, it affects the social and psychological well-being of the patient more than the physical well-being. Therefore, it is very important for the treating physicians to have a specific tool to assess the quality of life in patients with melasma which will help in evaluating and treating the patient more holistically. Since MELASQOL is a disease-specific dermatologically relevant HRQOL questionnaire for melasma which focuses on its effects on the psyche of the patient and which is validated and translated in various languages all across the globe, we recommend it over DLQI for assessment of this disease. Furthermore, since its translation is already available in Hindi language, it becomes all the more practical to execute in our population as compared to DLQI which is available in English language.

  References Top

Suthanther CB, Bubna AK, Sankarasubramanian A, Veeraraghavan M, Rangarajan S, Muralidhar K. A clinical study of melasma and assessment of Dermatology Life Quality Index at a tertiary health care center in South India. Pigment Int 2016;3:77-82.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  
Balkrishnan R, McMichael AJ, Camacho FT, Saltzberg F, Housman TS, Grummer S et al. Development and validation of a health-related quality of life instrument for women with melasma. Br J Dermatol 2003;149:572-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Sarkar S, Garg S, Dominguez A, Balkrishnan R, Jain RK, Pandya AG. Development and validation of a Hindi language health-related quality of life questionnaire for melasma in Indian patients. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2016;82:16-22.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Freitag FM, Cestari TF, Leopoldo LR, Paludo P, Boza JC. Effect of melasma on quality of life in a sample of women living in southern Brazil. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2008;22:655-62.  Back to cited text no. 4
Dominguez AR, Balkrishnan R, Ellzey AR, Pandya AG. Melasma in Latina patients: Cross-cultural adaptation and validation of a quality-of-life questionnaire in Spanish language. J Am Acad Dermatol 2006;55:59-66.  Back to cited text no. 5
Misery L, Schmitt AM, Boussetta S, Rahhali N, Taieb C. Melasma: Measure of the impact on quality of life using the French version of MELASQOL after cross-cultural adaptation. Acta Derm Venereol 2010;90:331-2.  Back to cited text no. 6
Dogramaci AC, Havlucu DY, Inandi T, Balkrishnan R. Validation of a melasma quality of life questionnaire for the Turkish language: The MelasQoL-TR study. J Dermatol Treat 2009;20:95-9.  Back to cited text no. 7
Aghaei S, Moradi A, Mazharinia N, Abbasfard Z. The Melasma Quality of Life scale (MELASQOL) in Iranian patients: A reliability and validity study. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2005;19(Suppl 2):39.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded1702    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal