HomeBeauty with HealthMelasma: Dark Patches on the Face

Melasma: Dark Patches on the Face

What does melasma look like?

It usually looks like a patch or a group of light brown to gray spots favoring the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. 

Initially, it appears like a shadow on the sides of the face that is hardly noticeable until it spreads like a mask.

What is it made of?

The cells that are responsible for skin color are overactive in melasma.

What causes it?

No one knows for sure yet. But it is called the “mask of pregnancy” because it has been observed to appear during pregnancy when estrogen and progesterone are high. It is also why it is more often seen in women than men.

However, there are those who are more at risk. 

It is more observed in those who have a close relative that has it and who have darker skin types.

Melasma: Dark Patches on the Face

Triggers would include sunlight, heat, oral contraceptive pills, stress, and skincare that can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.

How is it treated?

Do understand that melasma is chronic. In some cases, it goes away on its own after pregnancy. In other cases, it can stay forever. 

There are lasers that can help lighten it (make it less visible). But when it comes to lasers, you have to be careful because there are some lasers that can darken the lesion more. 

Other approaches can be in the form of chemical peels and skincare. 

To know which is best for you, ask your dermatologist first.

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Dr.Ellie About the Author: Dr. Elli Reyes is a specialist of Aesthetic Medicine from the Philippines. With over four years of specialized training, her aesthetic practice has involved a variety of skin treatments involving Botox, fillers, and the like. As a licensed physician, she has been engaged by multiple clinics and is regularly interviewed by the local media as an expert in the science of the skin. Her research and writings to date have centered on nutrition, functional health, and general beauty.

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