Melasma is a skin condition that causes patches of dark skin on areas of the face exposed to the sun.
Chloasma; Mask of pregnancy; Pregnancy mask
Melasma is a common skin disorder. It most often appears in young women with brownish skin tone, but it can affect anyone.
Melasma is often associated with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. It is common in:
Being in the sun makes melasma more likely to develop. The problem is more common in tropical climates.
The only symptom of melasma is a change in skin color. However, this color change can cause distress about your appearance.
The skin color changes are most often an even brown color. They often appear on the cheeks, forehead, nose, or upper lip. Dark patches are often symmetrical.
Treatments may include:
Rashmi Sarkar is in New Delhi, India. Sarkar is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Melasma. She is also highly rated in 11 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Melasma, Trichorrhexis Nodosa, Autosomal Recessive Hypotrichosis, and Pigmented Purpuric Dermatosis.
Hee Kang is in Suwon, Republic of Korea. Kang is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Melasma. She is also highly rated in 9 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Melasma, Pigmented Purpuric Dermatosis, Incontinentia Pigmenti, and Liver Spots.
Vasanop Vachiramon is in Bangkok, Thailand. Vachiramon is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Melasma. They are also highly rated in 8 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Melasma, Liver Spots, Hypomelanotic Disorder, and Vitiligo.
Melasma often fades over several months after you stop taking hormone medicines or your pregnancy ends. The problem may come back in future pregnancies or if you use these medicines again. It may also come back from sun exposure.
Call your provider if you have darkening of your face that does not go away.
The best way to lower your risk for melasma due to sun exposure is to protect your skin from the sun and ultraviolet (UV) light.
Things you can do to lower your exposure to sunlight include:
Other things to know about sun exposure:
Published Date: November 10, 2020
Published By: Ramin Fathi, MD, FAAD, Director, Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group, Phoenix, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Dinulos JGH. Light-related diseases and disorders of pigmentation. In: Dinulos JGH, ed. Habif's Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 19.
James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM. Disturbances of pigmentation. In: James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 36.