Melasma, also referred to as chloasma, occurs when irregular patches of darkened skin appear on the face or forearms. These tan or brownish spots generally occur symmetrically on the forehead, nose, cheeks, or upper lip. The symmetry of melasma sets it apart from other skin conditions with similar results. Melasma is not uncommon and is found more often in women. It can be caused by overexposure to the sun or hormonal changes, such as those that occur with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. People who have darker skin types are far more inclined to melasma than those who have lighter complexions. Dr. Jennifer Dharamsi treats melasma regularly at Legacy Dermatology & Restoration Center in Frisco, TX where our skilled team of talented professionals provides several treatments that may minimize the appearance of the condition.
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The specific cause of melasma remains unidentified. Specialists think that the dark spots in melasma might be triggered by various factors, such as hormone fluctuations, family history of melasma, ethnicity, anti-seizure drugs, along with other medications that make the skin more prone to discoloration following exposure to the sun. Uncontrolled sunlight exposure is recognized as the main cause of melasma, especially in individuals with a genetic predisposition to this condition. Studies have shown that people typically develop melasma in the summer months when the sunlight is most intense. In the winter, the hyperpigmentation typically becomes less visible or milder.
Melasma is recognized by discoloration or hyperpigmentation mostly in the facial areas. Three types of common facial patterns have been recognized in individuals with melasma:
- Centrofacial – (center of the face) hyperpigmentation among the chin, forehead, cheeks, upper lip, and nose
- Malar – (cheekbones) melasma patterns around the upper cheeks
- Mandibular – (jawbone) hyperpigmentation parallel with the jaw
There are several solutions for the treatment of melasma. First, there are a variety of topical ointments, gels, or lotions that can be given to help promote skin lightening. Second, there are dermatology treatments, such as the dermapen, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, a Melange™ peel, or fractional lasers. Another option is intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy. Unlike lasers that use intense, concentrated light, IPL is intense broadband light so the recovery time is brief. Results generally last when the patient implements proper skincare and sunscreen usage.
Seek Professional Care
In the event that you are affected by melasma and are tired of attempting to conceal it with cosmetics, we welcome you to call Legacy Dermatology & Restoration Center to schedule a consultation. Melasma needs a specialized diagnosis so the ideal treatment can be provided. Dr. Dharamsi can correctly diagnose and address melasma to provide you with an excellent result. Contact our Frisco, TX facility to schedule your consultation.