Melasma is a skin condition that can occur due to sun exposure or changes in hormones. Many women experience melasma during pregnancy. The condition causes brown to gray patches on the face, covering the nose, cheeks, forehead, or chin. It is common for it to appear in locations such as the neck and the forearms where sun exposure has been extensive.
Women are more likely to develop melasma than men are. Approximately 10 percent of patients diagnosed with this condition are male. Patients with skin of color may be at a higher risk, as well as those who have a relative who has this condition, as it may be genetic. There is no true indication of what causes melasma, but it tends to become more active when triggers such as exposure to UV light, changes in hormones, and irritation from cosmetic or skin care products.
Proper diagnosis is necessary to determine the best treatment. A cosmetic dermatologist such as those at Seriously Skin in Cleveland, Ohio can analyze the skin and determine if melasma is the proper diagnosis. It can often be confused with other skin conditions, so a biopsy may be done to confirm diagnosis.
Melasma is known for fading on its own when triggers are eliminated. Women who experience melasma during pregnancy may notice the condition fades after they have delivered their baby, others may notice improvement after they have ceased the use of birth control prescriptions. Some patients are unable to reduce the appearance of melasma and may benefit from one of many treatments available at Seriously Skin, including hydroquinone, tretinoin, corticosteroids, and other topical medications. Others may benefit from procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
The following treatments are used for melasma:
- QX MAX Melasma Treatment
- SilkPeel Dermalinfusion
- Pharmaceutical Skin Care System
Patients with melasma can improve their quality of life with a proper diagnosis and treatment of the condition. Understanding the triggers of melasma flare-ups can help control it. Patients can treat their skin, and then take precautions to avoid triggers and care for the skin to reduce the risk of problems. A dermatologist at Seriously Skin can provide patients with tips and techniques for managing this condition following effective initial treatment.