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Melasma is a common chronic skin condition resulting from melanocytes over functioning in the skin depositing too much melanin in the epidermis and dermis leading to hyperpigmentation. 

Sunlight exposure, skin phototype, hormones including use of oral contraceptives, pregnancy, and genetics (melasma is shown strongly to occur in families) are the main triggers and risks for this condition.

Other factors like medications, some cosmetics, and zinc deficiency, can also contribute to the development of melasma.

HOW is MELASMA get treated? 

It is very challenging and difficult to treat and requires strict adherence to a vigorous treatment regimen to prevent relapses.

Strict sun protection is essential for treatment of and prevention of relapse of melasma including sun avoidance, sun protective clothing and broad-spectrum sunscreens (SPF of at least 50)

Melasma is treated with different modalities including but not limited to prescription hydroquinone, or non-hydroquinone topical treatments with topical tretinoin, vitamin C, usually in combination with chemical peels, and or laser and light therapy. In patients with darker skin, great care and caution should be taken in using laser and light modalities due to the risk of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.


Melasma is frequently associated with psychologically devastating effects on one’s quality of life. Call your healthcare provider today to talk about your skin if you have been affected by melasma.