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All about Melasma

Melasma is a common skin problem. It causes brown to gray-brown patches or freckle

like spots, usually on the face. Most people get it on the cheeks, bridge of their nose,

forehead, chin and above their upper lip.

Women are far more likely than men to get melasma. It is so common in pregnancy that

melasma is sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy”. Hormones seem to trigger


Melasma appears on women’s skin much more often than men skin. 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 blood relative who has a 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 called melanocytes produce too much color. People with skin of color are more

prone to melasma because they have more active melanocytes then people with light



It is important to know what triggers Melasma:

-Sun exposure: 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: pregnant women often get melasma. Melasma appears in

pregnancy, it is called chloasma. Birth control pills and hormone replacement medicines

can also trigger melasma.


-Skin care products: if a product irritates your skin, Melasma can worsen. Some

cosmetics can cause what’s called a phototoxic reaction.


Treatments offered at our clinic

Melasma can fade on its own. This can happen after delivery , or after stopping birth

control pills. However, some people have melasma for years, or even a lifetime.

1. Dr. Bhogal uses Prescription triple lightening creams for maximum benefits.

2. We also use nonprescription creams with tranexamic acid and kojic acid to

lighten the skin and it works great in combination with prescription creams.

3. Procedures such as chemical peels and microneedling with or without PRP can

also help lighten melasma.

4. Light based procedures like intense pulsed light, non- ablative fractional laser

treatments can benefit selective patients.

5. We highly recommend wearing a broad spectrum mineral sunscreen every day-

rain or shine.


Under doctor’s care, many people with melasma have a good outcome. Dr. Bhogal will

work with you to design your individualized treatment for best results. We understand

that melasma can be stubborn, and it is important to know that it may take a few months

of treatment to see any improvement.

After your melasma clears, you may need to keep treating your skin. We call this

maintenance therapy. Maintenance therapy can prevent melasma from returning.

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