What is Melasma? What are the treatments for Melasma?
Melasma is a common condition that appears as irregularly pigmented spots on the face, neck, and forearms. It is a chronic condition exacerbated by sun exposure. Melasma is much more common in women than in men and in darker skin types than in lighter skin types. There is also a direct relationship with female hormonal activity because melasma may occur during pregnancy and with the use of oral contraceptive pills. In these patients, sun protective measures are extremely important which include the use of broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreens, sunglasses, protective, tightly-woven clothing and wide-brim hats, and avoidance of peak UV exposure hours between 10 AM and 4 PM. At least a sunscreen with SPF 50 (and preferably higher) with significant UVA protection should be applied to all sun-exposed areas 20-30 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapplied every 2-3 hours.
Melasma Treatments include but are not limited to prescription and non-prescription medications such as topical hydroquinone, retinoid derivatives, azelaic acid and topical corticosteroids. Other, more aggressive, treatment options include Jessners and VI peels and the Cynosure/Palomar Fractionated 1540nm Erbium laser.
For your Melasma treatment consultation, our physicians at Z-ROC Dermatology will gladly discuss which treatment options would be best suited to fit your needs.