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Melasma

  • Melasma
    Melasma is a skin condition that presents itself on the body, usually the face, in gray or brown spots on the skin. Melasma is also known as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy. It is not a harmful disease, but can severely affect a person’s cosmetic appearance. 

About

Melasma

Melasma, also known as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy, is a hyperpigmentation of skin usually affecting the face, causing gray or brown spots. It is not a harmful disease, but can severely affect a person’s cosmetic appearance.

Causes and Risk Factors

It is unknown why some patients are more prone to melasma than others, but those with darker skin tones and with affected family members and women, are at higher risk for developing melasma. Too much sun, changes in hormones, and certain cosmetic products can irritate the condition. When associated with pregnancy, it typically occurs in the second and third trimesters. It may also develop in persons taking oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, or in association with excessive sun exposure.

Symptoms

The only symptom of melasma is having brown, gray, or discolored patches on the skin. It is not painful or itchy.

Diagnosis

A doctor will need to examine your skin to diagnose melasma. A skin biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

*Source:

American Academy of Dermatology

Treatment

Treatment

Melasma is difficult to treat and does not always need treatment as it is not a dangerous skin condition. Some spots will go away in time with a change of hormones. However, if necessary, a doctor can prescribe certain topical creams and medications. If this does not work, a dermatological procedure, such as a chemical peel, may be performed. Some laser treatments can also reduce the appearance of melasma.

Prevention

There is no real prevention for melasma other than proper skin care, such as wearing daily sunscreen and practicing other forms of safe skincare.

*Source:

American Academy of Dermatology

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