Melasma is a light to dark brown pigmentation on the face. It is most common in women but men can get it to. It frequently comes on during pregnancy due to the hormones and we call it the "mask of pregnancy." Melasma is caused by both hormones and the sun. While it is a benign condition, it is really cosmetically distressing for some and it can be tiresome to constantly be covering it up with makeup. At Cinco Ranch Dermatology, we offer a variety of treatments for melasma.
Before embarking on a treatment plan, it is so crucial that you establish an aggressive sun protection routine. If you do not do this, all treatments will fail and you will waste valuable time and money. See the link for "sunscreen' under the Dermatology A-Z tab for details about what choosing the best sunscreen. Even the slightest mistake, such as forgetting even one time to protect your skin from the sun, will set you back in your goal for beautiful and even pigmentation. Sometimes, following this sun protection regimen alone will result in clearing of your skin. In other cases, you can be prescribed topical lightening creams (hydroquinone, kojic acid), topical antioxidant serums (Vitamin C), a series of chemical peels, and/or topical anti-aging creams (retinal, glycolic acid) that increase the turnover of your skin cells so you can have brighter, healthier-looking skin. Heliocare (polypodium leucotomos plant extract) is a natural antioxidant that helps protect your skin from the sun and I use it frequently in patients struggling with melasma in combination with the above treatments.