Melasma Treatment

At Vujevich Dermatology, we offer melasma treatment and medication for this condition right from our office through Vu Pharmaceuticals.

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a common skin condition characterized by patches of brown or gray-brown discoloration that appear on your skin. While melasma is commonly found on the face, it can also appear on areas of skin that are often exposed to the sun.

What Causes Melasma?

The cause of melasma is still not clear, but it is believed that melasma occurs when the color-making cells of the body, the melanocytes, produce too much color. People with darker skin tones have more active melanocytes, causing them to be diagnosed with melasma more often that people with lighter skin tones.

Although a cause has not been identified, there are common triggers for melasma. Sun exposure is the most reported trigger for melasma. It is also why melasma often returns after fading, especially during the summer. Hormones and medications that affect hormones (i.e. birth control) are also triggers. Beauty treatments, such as waxing, can irritate the skin which can lead to melasma.

Signs and Symptoms

Blotchy patches, or discoloration, of brown or gray-brown skin are the most recognized sign of melasma. These patches often appear on your cheeks, forehead, and bridge of the nose. They also often appear on the chin and above the upper lip. Patches on your neck and chest can occur but are less common. Melasma does not itch or burn; skin discoloration is the most common sign of this condition.

There are no symptoms of melasma, but it can affect a patient’s self-confidence. Many people dislike the look of the discoloration and seek melasma treatment to reduce its appearance.

Melasma Treatment Options

Although melasma can fade on its own, there are options for the treatment of melasma, as well as self-care tips, to help reduce the appearance of this condition. Treatment includes topical medicines and procedures. One common medication is melasma gel, or hydroquinone for melasma.  Hydroquinone is a depigmented agent that interrupts the formation and synthesis of melanin to help lighten your skin. Other ingredients can help reduce inflammation and help exfoliate your skin.

Trained and board-certified dermatologists can perform procedures such as chemical peels, light-based therapy, and laser skin treatment to reduce the appearance of melasma.

In addition to medical treatment, you can help reduce the appearance of melasma with at-home prevention. Wearing sunscreen is the most proactive step to preventing and reducing the appearance. Protective clothing to protect your skin from the sun is another option. Using gentle skin cleansers can avoid irritating your skin, which causes melasma to worsen.

While melasma, like other medical dermatology conditions we treat, can be stubborn, our board-certified dermatologists will create a treatment plan that is tailored to your skin type and tone. If you have any questions regarding your condition or treatment options, speak to one of our dermatologists today. You can contact us at any of our locations to make an appointment.