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Melasma – Melasma (muh-LAZ-muh) is a common skin problem. It causes brown to gray-brown patches, usually on the face. Most people get it on their cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin, and above their upper lip. It also can appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck.

Who gets melasma?

Melasma appears on women’s skin much more often than men’s skin. Just 10% of people who get melasma are men.
People with darker skin, such as those of Latin/Hispanic, North African, African-American, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean descent are more likely to get melasma. People who have a blood relative who had melasma also are much more likely to get melasma.

What causes melasma?

What causes melasma is not yet clear. It likely occurs when the color-making cells in the skin (melanocytes) produce too much color. People with skin of color are more prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes than people with light skin.

Common melasma triggers (what starts it) include:

Sun exposure: Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun stimulates the melanocytes. In fact, just a small amount of sun exposure can make melasma return after fading. Sun exposure is why melasma often is worse in summer. It also is the main reason why many people with melasma get it again and again.

A change in hormones

See more at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/color-problems/melasma#causes
—–ALL OF THE ABOVE FROM https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/color-problems/melasma)

What to do, what not to do

Do not treat your melasma with laser this will only increase the pigmentation as the skin will interpret the laser light as UV exposure and increase the pigmentation!

Melasma is only recommended to be treated with peels or CIT (collagen induction therapy)

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding hydroquinone you will see online many different postings and articles about people talking about how hydroquinone made the pigmentation or melasma worse. This happens because hydroquinone makes your skin photosensitive this means when you go outside you are much more susceptible to sun exposure damage. If you do not use an appropriate amount and diligently reapply SPF and wear a hat when you are on hydroquinone this will also happen to you, it is never recommended to use hydrocodone during the summer months and for a maximum of 3 months.