Melasma - Causes and Treatment

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a very common skin condition in which brown spots or patches appear on a person's face. Melasma appears much more frequently in women and can be related to pregnancy. Melasma is easily treated, and any dermatologist should be able to help a patient.

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Photos


Spots of melasma on the face of a woman. Patches of melasma on a woman's face.

Symptoms

Being a very common skin condition, melasma often presents as gray and brown patches, different from your normal skin color or tone. Though not particularly bothersome in most patient cases, some people do experience mild discomfort. Melasma almost always presents on the face, including the following parts:

  • Upper lip
  • Forehead
  • Cheeks
  • The bridge of the nose

Causes

Melasma's exact causes remain unknown, but underlying genetic issues may be responsible. Potential triggers are as follows:

  • Hormone changes driven by treatment, pregnancy or birth control
  • Excessive exposure to the sun
  • Individual intolerance to certain skincare products

Treatment

Melasma cases can be unpredictable, and some patients have observed their melasma disappear on its own, but the majority of patient cases require medical treatment. To avoid aggravation, you should seek professional help. Treatment options may include:

  • Creams
  • Antibiotics
  • Special procedures to remove the affected layers of the skin;

In some cases, due to the complexity of the melasma, the disease may come back over time.  All these reasons justify seeing an experienced dermatologist regularly.

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Post Treatment Prevention

Reducing the triggers of melasma is the key to battling the skin condition successfully. Though an efficient prevention strategy is to seek the professional opinion of a dermatologist, you may take the following actions:

  • Minimize any sun exposure
  • Make sure to apply sunscreen
  • Keep your face in the shade of a wide-brimmed hat

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