What is melasma?
Melasma is a tan or brown discoloration, typically on the face, but it can occur in other parts of the body. It may be triggered by pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or a genetic predisposition. These triggering factors make the skin more prone to pigmentation after uncontrolled exposure to sunlight. It is sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy.”
Where can you develop melasma?
Melasma is typically kept to three common places on the face: the center, the cheekbones, and the jawbone. Signs and symptoms include brown to gray-brown patches found on the cheeks, forehead, nose, upper lip, and chin. While many people are concerned about their appearance with melasma, it does not cause any physical symptoms.
Who is likely to develop melasma?
People with darker skin such as those of Latin or Hispanic, North African, African-American, Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern descent are more likely to develop melasma. Our doctors can diagnose melasma by a visual examination of the skin. We will then use a tool called a Wood’s light to determine how deeply the condition penetrates the skin. We may also take a small skin biopsy to rule out any other conditions.
What are my melasma treatment options?
For some patients, the melasma will go away on its own once the trigger goes away, such as the birth of a baby or discontinuation of birth control pills. For others, melasma can persist for years. The Rendon Center offers several treatment options.
- Hydroquinone – This skin lightening cream can sometimes be found over the counter, but it can also be prescribed in clinical strength.
- Tretinoin and Corticosteroids – These two medications can often be prescribed in addition to the hydroquinone to further the lightening of the skin. They can often be found combined with the hydroquinone to form a special “triple cream” solution.
- Additional Topical Medicines – Both azelaic acid and kojic acid can work to help lighten the skin and reduce the appearance of melasma.
- Dermatological Procedures – If the medications do not work to clear up the melasma, our team may suggest procedures such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
It is important to note that the appearance of melasma can be persistent, and treatment often requires several months to be fully effective. With the help of the Rendon Center in Boca Raton, you can find a solution to restore your skin to its former beauty. For more information on melasma and its treatment options or to schedule an appointment today, contact us at 561-750-0544 or click here to fill out an online contact form.