Understanding melasma

Patients who notice darker brown patches on their skin, sometimes called hyperpigmentation, that develop on the facial skin, they may be dealing with a condition called melasma. Melasma can develop in both men and women, though it is commonly seen in women due to hormonal fluctuations caused by hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, menopause, and even oral contraceptives. It can develop on the face and is typically seen on the forehead, cheeks, nose, and upper lip. It can be difficult to cover and disguise with cosmetics, resulting in patients seeking the assistance of a dermatologist to find a solution.

What can make melasma worse?

Many patients who have melasma may find that excess sun exposure can cause these areas of hyperpigmentation to darken further. Because of this, we often recommend to melasma patients to always wear sunscreen on the face and other regularly exposed areas every day.

How is melasma treated?

Melasma that develops due to a short-term situation such as pregnancy may resolve on its own after the patient gives birth to her baby. However, other patients deal with melasma with no known or specific cause, which leads them to ask a dermatologist about treatments that might work in lightening these areas and reducing the appearance of melasma on the skin. Some of the treatment options may include:

  • Topical prescription depigmenting agents (hydroquinone)
  • Chemical peels
  • Laser and light-based therapy
  • Hormone therapies

Which treatment is right for me?

The doctors at the Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills work regularly with patients to not only provide them with a definitive diagnosis, but to find a treatment that reduces the discoloration on the skin. During the initial assessment with the patient, our team will recommend what they feel is best for treating the condition.

Call the team at Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills to learn more about melasma

If you suspect you have melasma, or have already received a diagnosis of melasma from another professional, we welcome you to our practice in Short Hills, NJ to discuss treatment options. Our practice is conveniently located at 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite #2H and can be reached to book an appointment by calling (973) 232-6245.

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