Find your care

Whether you need ongoing treatment or want to enhance your appearance, we can help. Call 310-825-2631 for medical dermatology services and 310-206-7546 for cosmetic services.

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
  • Chin
  • 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

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 206-SKIN.