If you are like the hundreds of individuals suffering from dark brown patches and spots on your face after being out in the sun, you probably have Melasma. Melasma is an acquired pigmentation due to excessive melanin deposit in sun-exposed areas. Looking like a dark stain of the skin, it can be speckled or confluent. The cheeks, the upper lip, the chin, and the forehead are the most common locations, but it can occasionally occur in other sun-exposed locations. Chloasma is a synonymous term sometimes used to describe the occurrence of melasma during pregnancy. Melasma is also a complication of hormone replacement therapy or from birth control pills.
Since melasma is an excessive skin pigmentation problem, the same treatments which effectively improve brown age spots and freckles can be used for this condition also. However, since there is usually an ongoing iinflammatory or hormonal component, maintenance treatment with topical medications or cosmoceuticals as well as follow up laser and light treatments are needed to control this condition.
We usually treat melsama with topical products: including skin lightners such as hydroquinone, azelaic acid, arbutin, kojic acid, retinol. If a topical medicine does not get rid of your melasma, a procedure may succeed. Procedures for melasma include a series of chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments.