Melasma is a discoloration of the skin that often appears as a brown patch on the face, forehead, nose, or other areas commonly exposed to the sun. More common in people with darker skin, pregnant women, and women using contraceptives, Melasma is usually not dangerous. It is not to be confused with sunburn or tanning, as the darkened skin is usually blotchy and permanent. It may even spread.
However, patches can reoccur if a person continues to be exposed even to limited sunlight. Therefore, preventative measures are the best option. Ultraviolet light from sunrays is the chief factor in causing the melanocytes to produce more color, leading to Melasma. Limited exposure to UV is the most important preventative measure. Broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) should be worn even on cloudy days, as UV light can penetrate cloudy atmospheres. Sun-protective clothing like brimmed hats and sunglasses are also helpful in preventing overexposure.
If you are considering Melasma treatment, contact Dr. Amy Vaughan Dermatology to discuss your best treatment option.