What is Melasma?

Melasma (muh-LAZ-muh) is a common skin problem. It causes brown to gray-brown patches on the face. Most people get it on their cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin, and above their upper lip. It also can appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck.

Who Gets Melasma?

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.

People with darker skin, such as those of Latin/Hispanic, North African, African-American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean descent are more likely to get melasma. People who have a blood relative who had melasma also are much more likely to get melasma.

Treatments

In conjunction with home cream applications, in-office treatments include chemical peels (chemical exfoliation), mechanical exfoliation, and laser therapy.