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Doctor insights on: Melasma Signs

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What is melasma?

What is melasma?

Pigment change: Melasma is a pigment change that is affects many layers of the skin and usually is related to hormonal imbalances. It can occur in all ethnic groups, it is treated with skin lightners such as hydroquinone 4%, vitamin c/kojic acid, retin-a, lasers and peels like the melange peel. Avoiding the sun, using SPF can help. Adding vitamin d helps since you limit your sun exposure. ...Read more

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Dr. Emily Altman
125 Doctors shared insights

Mask Of Pregnancy (Definition)

Mask of Pregnancy, or Melasma, is a dark skin discoloration that appears on sun-exposed ...Read more


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What causes melasma?

What causes melasma?

The: The exact cause of melasma is still unknown, however researchers theorize that melasma occurs as a result of the color-making skin cells (melanocytes) producing too much color or melanin resulting in patchy discoloration. There are also genetic and other predispositions that are the cause. Common triggers of melasma include extended sun exposure, estrogen supplements, birth control pills, and pregnancy. ...Read more

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How can I treat melasma?

How can I treat melasma?

Bleaching agents: Avoidance of sun is utmost importance and sunscreen as the sun worsens melasma. Bleaching creams, retin-a, combinations of them, chemical peels and laser are all possible treatment. ...Read more

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Why do women get melasma?

Why do women get melasma?

Great question: A tough but good question. It is thought to be caused by the stimulation of melanocytes or pigment-producing cells estrogen and progesterone. This can cause those cells to produce more melanin pigment when the skin is exposed to sun. Pregnancy can trigger this as can the use of birth control pills. It is a frustrating condition to have and to try and treat as there are no guaranteed treatments. ...Read more

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What does melasma look like?

What does melasma look like?

Lacy pigmentation: Melanoma is most often seen on the cheeks, forehead and around the mouth. It is a lacy patchy brown pigment that gets dark in the sun. ...Read more

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Does melasma go away on its own?

Does melasma go away on its own?

May lighten some: Melasma is a discoloration of the skin that comes from a combination of hormonal fluctuations and sun exposure. It is extremely frustrating because it can be faded with fading creams, sun screen, sun shielding, and chemical peels, but it will recur with minimal sun exposure. It sometimes lightens without treatment over time if it occurs during pregnancy. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of melasma?

What are the symptoms of melasma?

None: Melasma is a darkening of the skin that occurs on the cheek bones, nose, forehead. It is not associated with any pain, itching or swelling. It can be distressing because it appears unsightly. It is can be caused by sun damage, hormones in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. It can become worse in pregnancy. Tretinoin, skin peels or laser treatments may help improve appearance. ...Read more

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Dr. Joshua Fox Dr. Fox
15 doctors agreed:
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How is the diagnosis of melasma made?

Dr. Joshua Fox Dr. Fox
15 doctors agreed:

Melasma: Melasma is diagnosed through its visual signs & personal history. A dermatologist may look at your skin under a device called wood's light. In some cases, rarely melasma may look like another skin condition, in which case the dermatologist may perform a biopsy and send it to a lab for diagnostic evaluation. ...Read more

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What is the best way to treat melasma?

What is the best way to treat melasma?

Combination: This is difficult to totally eradicate but a combination of microdermabrasion followed by laser with home treatment with bleaching agents offers a good option to sognificantly decrease melasma. Another option is the medium strength vi peel which can improve melasma within one week. ...Read more

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What other conditions may be mistaken for melasma?

Please see: Please see your dermatologist for evaluation and to discuss treatment options. There are several. ...Read more

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What is melasma, and can men get it as well as women?

What is melasma, and can men get it as well as women?

Yes: Yes both can get melasma although it is usually much more common in women than men. Especially in cases of pregnancy for women. Often it is seen as a darkening of pigment with patterns on face and body with varying severity. It is thought to be a significant reaction to hormonal changes in the body. ...Read more

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Started spirolonactone 2 weeks ago and think that my melasma is worsening. Is this possible?

NO: Melasma not due to spirnolactone. Why taking it? Dose? Other meds? Birth control? Menstrual and pregnancy history? The answer is in the details. You can treat melasma if you wish. ...Read more

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Where does melasma most commonly develop? What areas of the body does melasma most often develop? .

Where does melasma most commonly develop? What areas of the body does melasma most often develop? .

Face: Almost all of the time it is on the face. I've seen 1 patient who had it on their arms. ...Read more

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Where does melasma most commonly develop? What areas of the body does melasma most often develop? . .

Where does melasma most commonly develop? What areas of the body does melasma most often develop? . .

Melasma: Melasma commonly develops on cheeks, forehead, nasal bridge, chin and upper lip. Forearms and neck may also be, infrequently, affected. Women are most commonly affected, frequently during pregnancy, hence the name "mask of pregnancy". Sun protection is key to control. Combination treatment works best to minimize pigmentation changes. ...Read more

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Are there different kinds of melasma? Are there sub-categories of melasma or is it all considered the same no matter what? .

Are there different kinds of melasma? Are there sub-categories of melasma or is it all considered the same no matter what? .

Melasma types: Melasma is sometimes classified into 3 types. Epidermal (superficial), dermal (deep) and mixed. Epidermal melanoma responds readily to treatment, whereas dermal melanoma responds poorly. Mixed melanoma responds partially to treatment. Melasma is very challenging to treat. Combination treatment is often needed for best improvement. Daily sunscreen is a must. Maintenance treatment is needed for most. ...Read more

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Are there different kinds of melasma? Are there sub-categories of melasma or is it all considered the same no matter what? .

All melasma: Melasma is the inclusive diagnosis, but the areas of the face and body which are affected may be different between people. ...Read more

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Should I go into the sun if I have melasma? If I have melasma already should I try and stay out of the sun or does it matter? .

Melasma: The first 3 treatments for melanoma are: sun avoidance, sun protection, sunblock. Even if you pay lots of money for cosmetic treatments to lighten or remove melasma and then return to unprotected sun, it will come back and you will have wasted money. Buy a big hat and wear it--you'll look great! ...Read more

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Does epiduo help melasma?

Not really: Epiduo is a combination of benzoyl peroxide and adapalene. While it is an excellent choice for acne, and the Adapalene may slightly help to lighten discolored skin, it is not a treatment for melasma. Melasma is a patchy discoloration in the skin that results from hormonal fluctuations and sun exposure. It is best treated with fading creams, chemical peels, sunscreen, and sun avoidance. ...Read more