Melasma is a very common patchy brown or blue-gray facial skin discoloration, almost entirely seen in women in the reproductive years. There are three clinically patterns; centrofacial, malar and mandibular. It is more commonly seen in patients with higher skin types. The pigment deposition can be epidermally or dermally based, with some cases involving both.
Treatment of melasma is often difficult and some may require multiple treatment modalities. The cornerstone of therapy is sun protection using broad spectrum sunscreens (with coverage for UVA and UVB). The mainstay of treatment is the use of depigmenting agents; hydroquinone, kojic acid, vitamins C and E, azelaic acid and niacinamide.
In addition, the use of retinoids together with dermatological procedures such as chemical peel, microdermasion or non ablative/ ablative procedures.
If you have concerns regarding occurrence of skin discoloration, make sure to consult a dermatologist.
by: Dr. Maria Deanna Moreno