Do you struggle with melasma? Melasma is dark patches on the face, showing up as either brown, blue-gray, or tan. It most commonly affects women between 20 and 50 years of age and can be harmful to a person’s self-confidence. Sometimes, these dark patches can show up on the arms, neck, hands, and other places, and the condition is actually very common, particularly among pregnant women. What can be done about it? We have all the information you need to know about melasma and the best way to treat it.
- There is no known cause of melasma, but it is typically associated with sun exposure. The dark patches from melasma are produced by the sun and its harmful UV rays but can be triggered by pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, birth control pills, genetics, race, or anti-seizure medications. When it occurs during pregnancy, it is called chloasma.
- Melasma can be treated by a dermatologist. Epidural melasma, dermal melasma, mixed melasma, and excess melanocytes can all be treated at your dermatologist’s office. After diagnosing melasma through a skin examination, your dermatologist can treat it with devices like a black light or a Wood’s light. In rare cases, a skin biopsy may be necessary to rule out other causes of hyperpigmentation.
- The best way to avoid melasma is to be proactive about prevention. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight, be religious about wearing sunscreen, and use sun protection like hats and sunglasses. Tanning beds, too, should be avoided, to limit your UV exposure and reduce your likelihood of developing melasma. If possible, avoid birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, especially if you have had melasma in the past. See a dermatologist regularly for skin exams and to treat any hyperpigmentation or other skin conditions you may develop.
If you’re looking for a dermatologist, Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional hair and skin care in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers are here to provide you with the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.