How Do You Know You Have Melasma?

Most of us dream or enjoy having smooth and flawless skin, but our skin is prone to many health concerns, including melasma. Melasma is a skin condition that causes blue-gray patches and brown spots on the face, including the cheeks, nose, forehead, and upper lip. The condition mostly occurs due to overexposure to the sun and pregnancy. Though it can develop to anyone, it is common in women between 20 and 50 years. You can find treatments and care for melasma in Glen Allen at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center. In this article, you find out more about melasma, including treatment and prevention measures.

What is melasma?

It is a skin condition that causes colored and dark patches on the skin. Usually, it does not have physical effects but interferes with your appearance, which may affect your self-confidence. It is common with pregnant women, known as the mask of pregnancy or chloasma.

Causes of melasma

There is no specific cause for melasma; however, some factors may affect its development, such as:

  • Darker skin tone
  • Sun exposure
  • Increased hormone states, such as during pregnancy or oral contraceptive pills

Women develop melasma more than men, making up about 90% of the melasma cases.

How do you know you have melasma?

Melasma causes patches on the skin that are usually darker compared to your normal skin. They usually develop on the face, specifically on the chin, cheeks, forehead, and nose bridge.

The patches occur in uniform, with matching marks on both sides of the faces. Besides the face, melasma can also form on the forearms, neck, and other parts with frequent sun exposure.

Melasma diagnosis

Your dermatology provider at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center performs a physical exam during your consultation for your diagnosis. In addition, they also conduct further tests to determine the cause of your skin patches.

A wood lamp examination is among the tests performed. It involves shining a certain light on your skin to check for fungal or bacterial infections. It also provides clear information on the skin layers affected.

Dr. O’Conner also performs a biopsy to evaluate your condition further.

Melasma treatments

Melasma treatment depends on the cause. In hormonal causes such as pregnancy and birth control, melasma usually goes away by itself.

Treatments for other cases of melasma include:

  • Topical steroids
  • Creams to lighten your skin
  • Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peels

It is advisable to add a broad-spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen to your daily skincare routine for excellent outcomes.

Our skin appearance says a lot about our health and contributes to our self-esteem. Changes in your skin may indicate a bigger problem, hence needing a check-up. Dark patches around your face may show the presence of melasma. Though it may not have a medical impact, it may affect your self-confidence—skincare measures such as protection from sun exposure helps in preventing many skin conditions, including melasma. The Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center team also has treatments and solutions for melasma to enhance a smooth and even tone skin. Call the dermatologists today or book your appointment online if you have brown spots or patches on your skin.