What is Melasma?

Melasma is a very common skin disorder where there is increased sun exposure. This condition poses no threat, however patients at the Asarch Center who have melasma may elect to seek treatment for cosmetic reasons.

Sun exposure triggers melasma, which presents itself as pigmented patches of skin on the face. Most patients get melasma on their cheeks, nose, forehead and upper lip, although it can also show up in other sun-exposed areas, such as the neck, chest and forearms. Hormonal changes also seem to trigger melasma.

Who Gets Melasma?

Women are far more likely than men to get melasma. It is so common during pregnancy that it also is called “pregnancy mask”. Though hormones seem to trigger melasma, people who are frequently exposed to the sun can also get it.

How Is Melasma Treated?

In some cases, melasma will fade on its own, especially if the trigger is removed- such as when a baby is born and the woman is no longer pregnant. For sun-related melasma, dermatologists recommend preventing future UV exposure by wearing sunscreen every day and wearing sun protective clothing. If melasma does not fade on its own, microdermabrasion, chemical peeling and topical skin lighteners may be options.

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