What is Melasma? How to Get Rid of It?

If you’ve begun to notice patches and think it may be Melasma, we’re here to help. We can help you better understand what’s happening with your skin and help you take steps toward getting rid of Melasma. 

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a skin condition that typically affects women during pregnancy. Characterized by dark patches, spots, or freckles, Melasma occurs when women take birth control too. Women with darker complexions are more affected than those with lighter skin tones. 

If you’ve noticed patches of discoloration around your chin, cheeks, forehead, or above the upper lip, you may have Melasma. These patches are brown, bluish-gray, or grayish-brown in color and appear on the face. Although rare, Melasma can also appear on the arms, neck, and other body parts.

Is today the day you finally tackle your skincare problem? Getting started is easy!

Melasma Symptoms

The most notable symptom of Melasma is blotchy patches on the face. These asymmetrical patches will appear on both sides of the face. Other common symptoms you may experience are:

  • Patches of discoloration on the bridge of the nose
  • Discoloration on the cheeks
  • Discoloration on the forehead
  • Discoloration on the chin

Rarer symptoms may include:

  • Discoloration on the arms
  • Discoloration on the neck

Melasma can affect any body part that gets a lot of exposure to the sun. Although you won’t feel discomfort or pain in the affected areas, you aren't alone if you feel self-conscious. Many women are dealing with Melasma right now. 

Related: Soak Up the Sun, Not the Damage

What Causes Melasma?

We have yet to learn everything about Melasma. But, research does indicate that the pigmentation cells (melanocytes) are more active in areas where Melasma is present. These cells typically become overactive when exposed to certain environmental factors.


UV Rays from sunlight can do a lot of damage to our skin. This damage happens because of the body's natural responses to harsh light. When our body's skin cells receive too many harsh rays, they produce more pigmentation.

For some, this is nothing more than a tan. But for others, this overreaction to sunlight results in Melasma with discolored and uneven skin tones.


Many changes occur in a woman’s body during pregnancy. These changes are primarily due to the increased estrogen and progesterone hormone production. As stated previously, Melasma commonly occurs during pregnancy. So much so that it is often called the "Mask of Pregnancy."

Fortunately, the condition often goes away when the hormones stabilize. But you don't have to live with it in the meantime.


Another possible trigger for Melasma is certain medications. Perhaps Melasma appeared after starting a new medication or changing the doses of a prescription you're already taking.

If Melasma appeared after you began a new prescription, it's a likely culprit. Here are some medications are known to contribute to Melasma:

  • Oral Contraceptives (Birth control pills)
  • Medications for seizures
  • Any prescription increases sunlight sensitivity


Another possible cause of Melasma is stress. Some believe stress leads to Melasma because stress increases your cortisol levels, and cortisol can contribute to blotchy patches of color. Although more studies are needed, becoming overly stressed may cause Melasma.

Related: Drinks for Healthier Glowing Skin

Synthetic UV-Rays (Tanning Beds)

As opposed to the sun, Tanning beds and lights emit harsher UV Rays. The ultraviolet lights cast in a tanning bed can overstimulate the cells that produce pigmentation in the skin and exacerbate Melasma. 

Diseases Affecting the Thyroid

Thyroid disease is another factor to consider when investigating the source of Melasma. The Thyroid gland (found in the neck) produces hormones to help your body function. From regulating your heart rate to helping food digestion, this gland can cause problems, including discoloration of the skin.

Thyroid treatment may clear up the patches caused by Melasma.

Did you know there are cleansers to correct pigmentation? We have them here!

Who’s at a Higher Risk for Melasma?

Although research is scarce, some studies lead us to believe some are at a higher risk for Melasma than others. Here are some details about who’s more at risk for Melasma:

  • Women are at a higher risk for Melasma than men.
  • Women between the ages of 20 and 40 are more likely to have Melasma.
  • Women on medications like oral contraceptives are more likely to have Melasma.
  • Women with darker complexions are more affected by Melasma than those with lighter skin tones.

Although Melasma may clear up without interference, it doesn't hurt to incorporate a skincare regimen that heals the skin and evens the tone.

How Do Your Diagnose Melasma?

Melasma is relatively easy to diagnose. A visual inspection of the afflicted area is often the only test necessary. However, some tests ensure the condition isn’t something more serious.

One such test is a Wood’s Lamp Examination. This test gives your healthcare provider more insight into Melasma. Such as how many layers of skin are affected and if any bacterial or viral infections are present.

Another test that some may need is a biopsy. A biopsy may be necessary to rule out more severe skin conditions. 

Related: Skin Problem: What is Eczema?

What Treatments Are Best for Melasma?

Melasma may go away on its own. But you can minimize the appearance of the skin condition today. At-home treatments and products you can add to your daily skincare routine will help.

While creams may lighten the discoloration and steroids may combat it, more options are available. Some treatments strip away the outer layers of the skin and remove the marks and impurities left by Melasma. Dermabrasion, Chemical Peels, and Microdermabrasion are all effective treatments for Melasma.

The unsightly effects of the ailment often lead to stress and a lack of confidence. If Melasma is bothering you, moisturizers, peels, and scrubs can correct irregular pigmentation.

Say Goodbye to Melasma

We at Perfect Image understand how hard it can be to put your best foot forward when you don’t feel confident and flawless. But we also

Fortunately, there is hope. Melasma is relatively easy to correct at home. Many products are available today that even the skin tone and lighten discoloration. 

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