Melasma, also referred to as chloasma, happens when irregular patches of dark skin appear on the face. These tan or brownish spots generally occur evenly on the forehead, nose, cheeks, or upper lip. The appearance of melasma distinguishes it from other conditions that cause dark patches on the skin. Melasma is a common, frustrating condition found more often in women. It may be due to sun damage or from hormonal changes, such as with menopause and pregnancy. People who have darker skin types are more likely to experience melasma than those with lighter complexions. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rachel Day treats melasma regularly at OneSkin Dermatology in Chambersburg, PA where we offer a number of remedies that may minimize the appearance of this condition.
The specific source of melasma remains unknown. Specialists think that the dark patches in melasma might be caused by numerous factors, including hormone fluctuations, family history of melasma, race, anti-seizure drugs, along with other medications that make the skin more susceptible to discoloration following exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Uncontrolled sunlight exposure is recognized as the main cause of melasma, especially in individuals with a hereditary predisposition to the condition. Studies have revealed that people generally develop melasma in the summer months when sunlight is the most intense. In the winter, the hyperpigmentation is typically less visible or milder.
Melasma is recognized by the discoloration or hyperpigmentation primarily in the facial areas. Three forms of ordinary facial patterns have been recognized in those with melasma:
- Centrofacial – (center of the face) hyperpigmentation among the upper lip, nose, chin, forehead, and cheeks
- Malar – (cheekbones) melasma patterns about the top of the cheeks
- Mandibular – (jawbone) hyperpigmentation parallel with the jawline
The most important component in treating melasma is to remove exposure to a patient's melasma triggers. Dr. Day offers patients a complete assessment and educates them on modifiable factors such as sun protection, hormone regulation or other medications that may be contributing. OneSkin Dermatology offers customized compounded topical preparations to address melasma in addition to dermatology procedures, such as the microneedling, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or fractional lasers.
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Melasma is a chronic, difficult to treat pigmentation problem. We invite you to call OneSkin Dermatology to schedule your expert consultation today. Dr. Day will create your personal skin care plan to improve and manage your melasma to achieve the results you want.