What is melasma?
Melasma is a common skin problem that causes gray-brown patches on the skin (usually the face). Most people see these patches develop on their cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, above the upper lip, and the chin. Patches typically develop in areas that get a lot of sun exposure. Women are far more likely than men to get melasma. It is sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy” because it commonly develops in pregnant women.
What are the causes?
The exact cause of melasma is not yet known. What we do know is that it occurs when melanocytes (color-producing cells in the skin) make too much color. People with darker skin are more prone to this condition because they have more active melanocytes than people with light skin.
Common triggers include:
- Sun exposure, since ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes
- A change in hormones (during pregnancy or when one takes birth control pills or hormone replacement medicine)
- Skincare products that irritate your skin
What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common signs of melasma are gray-brown patches on the face. These patches commonly develop on the chin, cheeks, above the upper lip, bridge of the nose, and forehead. While less common, it can also appear on the neck and forearms. There are no symptoms associated with this condition; it is a cosmetic issue.
How is it treated?
At Dermatology & Skin Health, we can improve your skin with non-invasive laser treatments. Using the PicoWay Laser, we can restore the health and youthfulness of your skin. PicoWay treats a wide range of pigmented lesions with precise results in just a few treatments that are better served than other laser treatment options with minimal discomfort and healing time.* Learn more here.
Schedule treatments in New Hampshire or Massachusetts
If you suffer from melasma or feel you may be suffering from it, schedule treatments at Dermatology & Skin Health. We are located in Dover, NH, Newington, NH and Peabody, MA. Book your appointment online or give us a call at (603) 742-5556 (Dover & Newington) or (978) 525-0100 (Peabody).