Melasma is a very common and sometimes very distressing skin condition. It causes brown or gray-brown patches, usually on the cheeks, forehead, nose, above the upper lip and chin. It also can appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck.
Did you know…
that melasma occurs much more commonly in women than in men? Melasma seems to be related to female hormones. It is so common during pregnancy that melasma is sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have melasma?
Melasma usually appears on areas that have high amounts of sun exposure. It usually appears as brown or gray-brown irregular patches on the face. The patches can occur after pregnancy or become more noticeable after prolonged sun exposure such as after a beach vacation. Melasma does not cause any symptoms such as pain or itching, but many people dislike the way melasma makes their skin look. If you think you may have melasma, diagnosis by a dermatologist is easy and usually just requires close examination of your skin.
What can I do if I have melasma?
New skin problems can occur when the person who gives the treatment does not tailor it to the patient’s skin type. You should always seek evaluation by your dermatologist before starting a treatment for your melasma. After examining your skin, our dermatologist may prescribe multiple different methods of treatment. Sometimes, if melasma is triggered by pregnancy or birth-control pills, it can fade on its own when the causative trigger is removed. A topical medicine and/or procedure may be prescribed for your melasma. Procedures for melasma include a chemical peel, microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, laser treatment, or a light-based procedure. It is important to remember that in order to maintain results, strict daily sun-protection is imperative.