Melasma is a very common patchy brown, tan, or blue-grey facial skin discolouration, usually seen in women in the reproductive years.
It can affect both genders and any race, but it is more common in women, and people with darker skin types who live in sunny climates.
Melasma typically appears on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin of women 20-50 years of age.
The exact cause of Melasma remains unknown. Experts believe the dark patches in melasma could be triggered by several factors, including pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, family history of melasma, race, antiseizure medications, and other medications that make skin more prone to pigmentation after exposure to UV light.
Uncontrolled sunlight exposure is considered the leading cause of melasma, especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to this condition.
Individuals typically develop melasma in the summer months, when the sun is more intense.
For some women, melasma disappears on its own.
There are some creams that your doctor can prescribe that can lighten the skin. Sometimes topical steroids are prescribed to help lighten the affected areas.
Possible options for treatment include chemical peels, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion if the creams do not work.
It is not guaranteed that melasma won’t come back after treatment. You have to go for follow-up visits and follow certain skin treatment guidelines to reduce the risk of the melasma returning.
Sometimes melasma can be very slow to respond to treatment, especially if it has been present for a long time.