Melasma is brown to grayish patches commonly found on the upper cheek, nose, lips upper lips, and forehead.  Although it can affect anyone, it is particularly common in women, especially pregnant women and those who are taking oral or patch contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) medications.  The exact cause of melasma is still unknown, but all causes lead to increased melanin production by melanocytes.  Genetics plays a major role in the development of melasma with more than 30% of patients having a family history of melasma.  Sun exposure is another major triggering factor.  Other common causes include pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone therapy, and cosmetics that cause a phototoxic reaction.

Treatment for melasma is complicated, usually composed of different channels including pigment-lighting face creams and laser treatments. It is suggested to consult a doctor for a more comprehensive treatment plan.

  • The features of melasma are as follow,
    • Irregular in shape;
    • May appear in the shape of a butterfly;
    • Dark brown in color;
    • No sharp boundary;
    • Tends to appear symmetrically on both cheeks.


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