What Is Melasma?
Melasma is a condition that causes dark spots on the face, especially the cheeks and forehead. Other common areas where people may develop melasma include:
- Bridge of the nose
- Above the upper lip
- Other parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, such as the forearms and neck
Melasma and Pregnancy
Melasma can be triggered by sun exposure, cosmetics or hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or birth control pills. Women are more commonly affected than men.
Signs and Symptoms of Melasma
Melasma appears as blotchy brown or gray patches of skin anywhere on the face or other sun-exposed areas. It does not have any other symptoms.
Treatment for Melasma
Melasma can fade on its own, especially if the trigger causing it stops. Some people can have melasma for years—or even a lifetime. Sunlight worsens melasma, so avoiding sunlight and wearing an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen every day is vital to treating melasma.
UCLA dermatologists offer treatments for melasma that does not go away, including:
- Hydroquinone: a medicated cream, lotion, gel or liquid that lightens the skin
- Tretinoin and corticosteroids: medications used as a secondary treatment to enhance skin lightening
- Other topical (skin-based) medicines to help lighten melasma
Procedures that we may use to fade melasma include:
- Chemical peels
- Laser treatments
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 206-SKIN.