Melasma is a common pigmentation disorder of the skin that causes patches of brown spots to appear on the face. This hyperpigmentation is commonly seen on the upper cheeks, forehead, upper lip and chin, and can appear darker or lighter at various times of the year. Melasma is most common in women of reproductive age, particularly those who are pregnant or have darker skin. The leading causes of melasma are chronic sun exposure, hormonal fluctuations (e.g. pregnancy), and genetic predisposition. Birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may also trigger the condition.
Treatment for melasma involves medical grade skincare with prescription-strength hydroquinone. Other treatments that may offer some benefit are Clinical Peels and laser therapy. A combination approach often yields optimal results. Once melasma has been treated, diligent sun protection is essential using physical sunblock and sun-protective clothing whenever possible. Any unprotected sun exposure may cause melasma to recur.