Health Library: Melasma

What is melasma?

Melasma is one of the most common skin problems. It can lead to noticeable dark brown discoloration in the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and especially the upper lip. It can even appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck. Women are far more likely than men to get melasma. It is so common during pregnancy that some people call it the mask of pregnancy. Hormones seem to trigger melasma, too.

How do you treat melasma?

The most important part of treatment for melasma is sun protection. This means wearing sunscreen every day — even when traveling to and from work. We also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside. Sunscreen alone may not give you the protection you need.

Melasma can be difficult to treat. Fortunately, with a combination of prescription creams and exfoliating peels, you can see dramatic improvement.

Want to learn more?

American Academy of Dermatology – Melasma

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