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Is Melasma curable? What are effective ways to cure it?

Melasma is a common condition that causes brown or blue-gray patches in the skin. It is often called "the mask of pregnancy" because it most commonly affects pregnant women and those taking birth control pills. In rare cases, melasma may be linked to thyroid disorders or certain medications like anti-seizure drugs used for epilepsy treatment as well as some antibiotics and antifungal medicines. Some treatments are available but if left untreated, this condition usually fades away after 4 months with gradual fading over 2 years time period on average.
People with dark skin of color are more prone to melasma because they have a higher concentration of melanocytes. Melanocyte cells make too much pigment when exposed to UV light, resulting in dark spots on the face and body.

Table Of Content

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a common pigmentation disorder in which brownish patches appear on the skin, mostly on the face.
The most common areas for melasma on the face are:
  • The forehead
  • The bridge of the nose
  • The upper lip
  • The cheeks
Melasma occurs in other areas of the body, like those exposed to a lot of sunlight. These areas may include:
  • The neck
  • The forearms
  • The shoulders


Melasma is divided into 3 types:
  • Epidermal Melasma
  • Dermal Melasma
  • Mixed Melasma
Epidermal melasma is the most superficial manifestation of hyperpigmentation (melanin) in the upper layer of the skin (epidermis).
Dermal melasma, there is an increase in skin pigmentation in the second layer of the skin (dermis).
Mixed melasma, there is more skin pigmentation in the dermis as well as epidermis.


The main symptom of melasma is the appearance of discolored spots on the skin. While it does not cause any other physical symptoms, some people are concerned about the appearance of these spots. The most common area for melasma to appear is the face. Common areas include the cheeks, forehead, upper lips, and bridge of the nose. Less commonly, a person may have spots on their arms and neck.


Doctors do not fully understand why melasma appears. It can be caused by the malfunctioning of the melanocytes in the skin.
Because of this people with darker skin tones get melasma because of the presence of more melanocytes as compared to people with lighter skin. Potential triggers for melasma include:
  • Sun exposure
  • Changes in hormones during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills


Treatment for melasma is not always necessary. For others, melasma can last for years or even days. If melasma persists over time, the person may seek treatment to remove or lessen the blemishes. It’s important to know that not all treatments work for everyone, and melasma may reappear even after treatment that you thought is effective.
The treatment options include:
  • Hydroquinone
  • Corticosteroids and tretinoin

Medical procedures

If topical medications do not work, the doctor may recommend procedures such as:
  • Chemical peel
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser treatment
  • Dermabrasion
  • Light therapy


Melasma is the dark spot on the skin, most often on the face. Although these skin changes are harmless, some people may experience discomfort. For some people, the treatment is effective. Melasma due to hormonal changes can also disappear over time as hormone levels return to normal.


Is Melasma curable? What are effective ways to cure it?



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