Particularly common among patients with darker skin tones, melasma is a condition that triggers brownish patches of pigmentation to appear on the skin, usually on the cheeks, forehead, upper lip and chin, but also the neck as well as the forearms. Melasma is associated with hyper-stimulation of the melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment in the skin.
What triggers melasma?
Pigment production can be over-stimulated both by too much sun exposure and rising hormone levels, which explains why melasma frequently occurs during pregnancy or during use of birth control or other hormonal treatments. For darker skinned patients, irritation due to cosmetics can also trigger melasma’s increased pigment production. While most cases of melasma occur in women, it also affects a good percentage of men.
How is melasma treated?
Depending on your case, we can effectively treat melasma with prescription creams, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, light laser treatments or a combination of the above. Successful management of melasma ultimately requires a lifestyle change. If you are not prepared to stay out of the sun, your melasma will be difficult to treat. We are equipped with all that is necessary in our office to successfully manage this chronic condition, including sun protection with the most effective ingredients, prescription creams and sun protective hats. The Barba sisters have melasma and we are sensitive to the stress this condition causes.