Melasma: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

More prevalent among women, melasma is a skin condition that presents as dark brown, gray, or off-white blotches, freckles, and spots. It’s not uncommon for people to immediately assume that melasma is a more serious skin disorder. This is why it’s so important to visit a dermatologist the moment any skin discoloration appears. Dr. Steven Barilla at Plantation Dermatology is a highly skilled dermatologist who can help.

Causes of Melasma

The list of potential causes of melasma is quite long. The condition often presents itself among pregnant women, leading to the belief that hormonal changes trigger melasma. This is potentially why it’s also present in some women on birth control or those undergoing hormonal therapy.

The condition is also common for women in hotter climates, which is why sun exposure is also considered a potential cause. Tanning beds, hormones, increased UV exposure, genetics, certain prescription drugs, and hormonal replacement therapy, in addition to skin color, are also potential causes or risk factors for developing melasma.

Symptoms of Melasma

Melasma most often appears on the patient’s face. The patches will appear darker than the individual’s natural skin tone. The typical areas include the jawline, nose, forehead, cheeks, chin, and above and below the patient’s chin. In rarer cases, patients may develop the skin condition on the back and sides of their neck—just below their jawline—or on their arms and lower legs.

In most cases, Dr. Barilla can identify melasma simply by inspecting your skin. He may choose to use Wood’s light, which uses UV light to locate discolorations on your skin. In rare cases, Dr. Barilla may do a biopsy just to be safe.

Treatments for Melasma

A dermatologist like Dr. Barilla is best suited to providing a personalized solution to alleviating your melasma. After Dr. Barilla has conducted your consultation, he may use solutions such as laser treatment or IPL (intense pulse light) therapy. Chemical peels, topical treatments, and anti-inflammatory treatments like topical corticosteroids may also be prescribed. Finally, topical skin-bleaching creams like hydroquinone or dermabrasion may be used.

Book Your Consultation with Plantation Dermatology in Plantation, FL

At Plantation Dermatology, we adopt a human-centric approach to patient treatment, focusing on your unique situations and conditions to develop a tailor-made solution.

If you are concerned about having melasma and want us to help, call (954) 577-5161 today to schedule a consultation.

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