Melasma is a relatively common skin condition in adults, where darker than normal pigmentation develops, mainly on the face.
The condition, which may also be called ‘chloasma’, is the result of increased activity of the melanocytes, the cells that produce the skin pigment called melanin. Depending on coloration, the patches may be light to dark brown or even have a greyish tinge.
The problem is more common in women but can also occur in men. It can be related to hormones, so pregnancy or the contraceptive pill may be factors. It can also be triggered by sun exposure and the condition tends to worsen in summer and ease in winter, when the sun’s rays are not so strong.
Typically uneven areas of pigmentation arise in a symmetrical distribution over the following areas:
It is classed as a cosmetic problem and not normally accompanied by any itching, soreness or change in the skin’s condition. However, the physical appearance of melasma is usually a cause of embarrassment and concern for the patient.
Melasma can be a difficult problem to treat successfully, and very often our clients have tried a number of ineffective treatments before consulting us.
Fortunately there are effective treatments available, so just book a consultation to discover your options.
This condition may also be called ‘mask of pregnancy’ where it occurs as a result of the hormones produced while pregnant.
The most important thing you can do if you have melasma is to protect your skin from exposure to the sun. Avoid direct exposure to the sun where possible. Choose a SPF30+ sun screen which protects against both UVA and UVB light and wear a broad hat to shield your face.