Melasma: The Pregnancy Mask

Melasma: The Pregnancy Mask | Spectrum Dermatology, Scottsdale

Melasma: The Pregnancy Mask

You know that brown patches on the skin are common and often caused by sun damage, but what about when those patches are gray? Spectrum Dermatology treats a wide range of skin issues, including the lesser-known melasma. Melasma can also be brownish in color, and differs from other types of sun damage because it appears in “sheets” with irregular edges. It’s especially prevalent in pregnant women, and when this occurs, it’s called chloasma or “the mask of pregnancy.”

Men can develop melasma, too. It’s relatively common, harmless, and can be triggered by sunlight. For pregnant women, melasma often goes away naturally after giving birth. Otherwise, it can be treated with prescription creams or laser skin resurfacing. Melasma is a kind of hyperpigmentation and is a pigmentary disorder. The cheeks, forehead, upper lip, and bridge of the nose are especially common areas for melasma to occur.

Although anyone can develop melasma, it’s most common in people with more melanin, and 90 percent of cases are women. Latinas, Asians, Africans, and Middle Eastern women experience particularly high rates. If you have brown skin and live in an area with a lot of sunlight, your chances of developing melasma increase.

Nobody knows exactly what causes it, but there is a genetic link. A change in hormones, such as menopause or pregnancy, can also kickstart a melasma outbreak. While avoiding sunlight is key, bear in mind that light exposure can also worsen melasma. UV lights from light bulbs can cause the cells that produce pigment to increase production. Even a little time in the sun, like driving in a car, can be troublesome for those prone to melasma.

Contact Spectrum Dermatology Today!

A dermatologist can quickly diagnose melasma, and it’s rare that a biopsy is recommended. When it comes to treatment, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Different people react differently to treatments. If you have melasma and are looking for a dermatologist with the widest variety of latest products and tech, contact Spectrum Dermatology today.