Melasma is a very common disorder for women, particularly women who are pregnant, using patch/ oral contraceptives, or using hormone replacement therapy medication. The disorder appears as a dark or tan spots on the face. An increase in estrogen or progesterone causes an increase in melanin. Occasionally, referred to as a “pregnancy mask,” the dark patches commonly develop on the cheeks, forehead, nose, lips, upper lip, and nose. Women with tan skin tones and women living in areas with an intense amount of sun exposure are more predisposed to this condition. Occasionally, yet rarely, melasma can outbreak with those who have thyroid disease due to stress, and allergic reactions to external triggers such cosmetics or medications can also induce melasma.
The brown spots are not harmful, but may cause cosmetic concerns. Limiting sun exposure is key to treating melasma. Our practice also treats this hyperpigmentation with a series of topical treatments and laser therapy. We prefer to use the Pixel® or Active FX™ laser, both performed in office with little downtime.