Melasma is a common skin condition wherein brown or grayish-brown “patches” develop. It typically develops on the face across the cheeks, nose, forehead, chin, and upper lip, but it can develop anywhere the body receives ample sun. It can also be triggered by hormones, and is not an uncommon pregnancy symptom sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy.” It is a harmless and painless condition that affects women more often than men and can linger for decades once it develops. Those with darker skin are more likely to develop melasma, as their skin contains more pigment-producing melanin.

One of the biggest ways to reduce your risk of developing melasma is to protect your skin from the sun. Although hormones can also play a part in its appearance, sun damage is the number one contributor. Applying a daily sunscreen that uses physical blockers such as zinc and titanium dioxide is one way to protect yourself. Another way is to invest in a comfortable, wide-brimmed hat to shield your face from extended sun exposure.

At Melissa Chan, MD, we understand that sometimes these measures aren’t enough to prevent it. While it is not a health risk, it can sometimes lead to frustration over its presence which is why we offer solutions to help improve the aesthetic appearance of melasma. If you have questions about whether you have melasma and how we can help, or to set up an appointment please call us at (212) 343-2536 (Medical Office) or (718) 887-1566 (Aesthetic Office).