Melasma (also known as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy) is a form of hyperpigmentation, a dark skin discolouration that appears on the face.
It can affect anyone but young women with brownish skin tones are at greatest risk of this common skin condition. It is often associated with female hormones so it can be especially common in pregnant women, women who are taking either oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy.
Melasma: Am I suitable?
Melasma is much more common in women but can also affect men. All skin types can be affected by melasma, but it is more common in darker skin types.
It usually appears as uniform brown discolouration over the cheeks, forehead, nose or upper lip. Melasma is usually symmetrical. A qualified and experienced practitioner will be able to determine if you are definitely suffering from melasma and advise you on what is the best treatment plan.
Melasma: What do I have to do to prepare?
Sun exposure can also contribute to melasma so it is important to start wearing a high factor sunscreen as soon as you are diagnosed.
Melasma: What’s the treatment like?
There are a number of different treatment options, but avoidance of the sun is a must for the success of the treatment.
Creams that contain a combination of tretinoin, kojic acid and azelaic acid have been shown to have beneficial effects. Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent.
Oral supplements; MSM (methysulphorylmethane) is a natural sulphur which can prove helpful and it is possible to order over the internet.
Dermaroller; an increasingly popular treatment for all pigmentation problems, click on the treatment for more information.
Skin peels; click on the treatment for more information.
Laser skin rejuvenation; click on the treatment for more information.
Melasma: What will it cost me?
There are a wide range of costs depending on which treatment you embark on.