Posted by: Skin and Cancer Institute in Uncategorized

We all want clear skin with an even skin tone, but sometimes melasma spots can show up on our face and derail our skin goals. We’re here to tell you that with a little bit of know-how, you can manage your melasma and get your skin care goals back on track.

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a pigment disorder. It causes dark spots on the skin, especially the face. The areas most commonly affected are the bridge of the nose, the cheeks, the forehead and the chin.

What Causes Melasma?

Melasma is caused when the cells (melanocytes) that give your skin its color are overproduced. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s causing your melasma because there can be many different factors at play. These include:

  • Sun exposure
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone therapy

Melasma in Pregnancy

Also known as “the mask of pregnancy,” melasma can be hormone-related. In this case the melasma usually disappears on its own when the pregnancy is over.

Can Men Get Melasma

Yes, men can get melasma. Ten percent of all melasma cases happen in men.

Living With Melasma

One of the best things you can do for yourself if you have melasma is to protect yourself from the sun. This means wearing sunscreen everyday and reapplying it throughout the day because sunscreen becomes less effective as the hours wear on. In addition, you can:

  • Wear a hat
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Seek shade when possible
  • Stay out of direct and indirect sunlight when you’re indoors
  • Avoid going outdoors during the middle of the day when the sun is at its most intense.

Treatment

There are many ways to treat melasma, from skin care products to lasers, the trick is to work with your dermatologist to find the solution that’s best for your skin. Some of the options include a cream to lighten your skin. Others strip away the top layers of the skin to help lighten dark patches. These options include microdermabrasion and chemical peels.

Melasma is Not Curable

Melasma is a chronic skin condition that will often return even after treatment. That’s why ongoing treatment may be necessary when the dark spots return.