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Melasma - Overview

Melasma, sometimes referred to as chloasma, is a skin condition that is characterized by dark patches on the skin. People who might need melasma treatment can use Push Health to connect with a medical provider who can prescribe melasma treatment medications for melasma symptoms when appropriate to do so.

What Is Melasma?

Melasma is a common skin condition that is characterized by skin discoloration. While melasma on the face is common, melasma symptoms can occur on other parts of the body like the neck and arms. Melasma affects women more than men and seems to be more prevalent in people with a family history of melasma symptoms. While melasma itself does not generally cause more significant medical problems, people often seek melasma treatment because of the emotional stress melasma can cause. The causes of melasma are complex but are often thought to involve hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy, and excessive sun exposure. Melasma symptoms can occur in women taking birth control medications. Sometimes, melasma's causes are simply unknown.

Melasma - Symptoms

Melasma generally consists of brown, grey, or other discolored dark patches on the skin. Melasma symptoms can last for weeks and, at times, years. For most people, melasma is not related to the presence of a more significant underlying medical condition. For melasma on faces, the discolored patches often appear on the chin, forehead, cheeks or nose. When on the face, melasma on the upper lip (sometimes referred to as a melasma mustache) can also occur. Similar melasma symptoms may appear on the neck or even the arms.

Melasma - Treatment

Many people seek melasma treatment due to the persistence of melasma symptoms. Lifestyle modifications like reducing sun exposure may be beneficial in some people with melasma discolorations. In other cases, medical treatments such as chemical peels or dermabrasion may be utilized. Additionally, certain prescription medications may be utilized under the supervision of a medical provider for melasma treatment.

Melasma - Medications

When medications are prescribed for melasma treatment, the underlying health of the patient must be considered so that melasma medication treatment does not result in other complications. Melasma creams are generally used although medications in tablet form may be prescribed at times. Medications that might be prescribed for the treatment of melasma include the following:

At times, other prescription medications may be utilized for melasma treatment, depending on the judgement of the prescribing medical provider. Lifestyle modifications such as reducing sun exposure or using different forms of sunblock may also be recommended.

Melasma - Side Effects

Prescription melasma creams and treatments can cause side effects such as pain, irritation or redness at the application site for topical medications. Oral melasma treatments can lead to systemic symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or fatigue. Before using melasma medications for treatment, it is important to discuss concerns with a qualified medical practitioner. Generally speaking, one should not use alcohol and melasma medications at the same time.

More Melasma Resources

Last updated January 3, 2021. Given the evolving nature of medicine and science, this information might not be accurate and should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis / treatment recommendations. Please consult a licensed medical provider if you have additional questions.