Melasma is one of the most common forms of skin problems. It develops patches on facial skin, with colors ranging between brown to greyish brown. It is also known as skin discoloration problem found in many people these days. This disease is also known as “mask of pregnancy,” or chloasma when it is visible in pregnant women.


  • Melanocytes are those cells present in human skin which deposit pigment. Experts believe that during pregnancy, melasma develops due to the presence or increase in the level of progesterone. It is not caused because of estrogen or MSH. There are groups of dermatologists or skin specialists who referred that it is the combination of estrogen as well as progesterone sensitivity which are responsible for such condition.
  • It is also known that pregnancy, birth control pills, as well as hormone therapy taken by both men and women, can also encourage the occurrence of melasma.
  • Apart from this, stress as well as thyroid disease can also be one of the major causes of visibility of melasma on skin.
  • Too much exposure under the sun can also be a key reason for this disease. The skin cells which are responsible to control pigment may get affected by the ultraviolet rays which can also lead to the development of melasma on skin.


There are 4 different types of melasma which are found in humans.

  • Epidermal: It is one form of melasma which happens due to the excess existence of melanin in skin’s superficial layers.
  • Dermal: You can identify dermal melasma by the presence of melanophages across the dermis.
  • Mixed: As the name suggests mixed melasma is a combination of epidermal and dermal melasma
  • Unnamed type: Well, this type of melasma occurs due to excess melanocytes which exist especially in the skin of people with a dark complexion


Treatments available for melasma are as follows:

  • Medical Treatments

Medical science has advanced a lot and now there are several medical techniques which can help in reducing the patches developed on the skin due to melasma. The popular methods which are used by a dermatologist to treat this skin problem include the following.

  1. Microdermabrasion
  2. Laser treatment
  3. Chemical peel
  4. Light therapy
  5. Dermabrasion

All the above treatments are not meant for all. Depending on the severity of the case, a top skin specialist will decide which treatment will be beneficial for your respective case type.

  • Aesthetic treatments
  1. Hydroquinone is one of the common treatments for the problem of melasma. Hydroquinone is available in the form of both lotion and cream, and sometimes as gel too. It needs to be applied on the patches to lighten the patch color.
  2. Tretinoin and Corticosteroids: It is also available in the form of lotions, creams, and gels which need to be applied on the skin patches.
  3. Azelaic acid or kojic acid: Many dermatologists recommend azelaic acid or kojic acid for treating the problem of melasma. When this acid is applied on the affected areas it helps in lightening the darker shades of the patch.

You need to avoid exposure to the sun to restrict the further expansion of the melasma patch on your skin.

Keep in constant touch with the best skin doctor or one of the top skin specialist for proper results.

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Dr. Shoma Sarkar is a well known celebrity dermatologist with more than 10 years of experience in the field of Aesthetic & Clinical Dermatology.

Disclaimer: The content on this website ( is solely for the purpose of educating and creating awareness about the domain i.e. Dermatology. This shall not be treated as a substitute to a professional dermatologist’s advice or prescription. There is no guarantee of specific results and the results for any treatment mentioned on the website may vary, as every individual and their skin conditions are different.

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