Melasma

What is Melasma?

Melasma presents with brown discolored patches, usually on the face.  More common in men than women, the brown patches typically occur on the forehead, cheeks, bridge of nose, upper lip and chin.  Occasionally it also presents on the forearms.

 

What causes melasma?

When the pigment (color) producing cells of the skin are overactive, brown pigment is deposited in the skin.  Sun exposure, hormones and cosmetics can all aggravate melasma.

 

How is melasma treated?

Melasma requires diligent sun protection, not only with high spf sunscreens, but also with regular use of hats. 

Topical skin care products (medicines applied directly to the skin) can be helpful to lighten the affected skin.  Usually a combination of these is recommended.

Chemical peels and microdermabrasion help to exfoliate the affected skin.

Light and laser based treatments can also be helpful as part of a comprehensive treatment strategy.

As the pigment returns with sun exposure, diligent ongoing treatment and follow up with Dr. Gandhi, who can tailor a skin care regimen and treatment plan uniquely suited to your skin type and skin care needs, is essential.