Melasma is a common skin disorder that involves brown discoloration to areas of the face. It is distinctive in its appearance by being symmetrical such as large patches of brown pigment to the cheeks or to the forehead and upper lip.
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Although there are many theories as to what makes melasma worse, it is primarily caused by hormonal changes. This could be attributed to oral contraceptives, pregnancy (pregnancy mask), menopause, etc. Because it is a hormonally-generated condition, there is no “cure”, so to speak and the goal of treatment is control and suppression.
Sun exposure, heat, and humidity are all proven factors that either bring forth melasma or exacerbate the condition.
Melasma is a very frustrating, stubborn, and emotional skin condition for both men and women alike although it generally affects females much more so than men. Most of those that struggle from this condition have spent much time and money in an attempt to find a solution for a condition that cannot be cured but may be treated.
Lori Haney, RN, MEP-C
Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer