Also sometimes referred to as a "pregnancy mask," melasma is a skin disorder that results in irregularly shaped dark-brown or shadow-like patches of skin on your face and neck.
Melasma most often occurs on your cheeks, chin, forehead, jaws, and neck.
What are the Causes of Melasma?
You're more likely to develop melasma after regularly exposure to the sun. However, some people may develop melasma due to other risk factors, such as:
- Birth control and oral contraceptives
- Hormone therapy
- Certain medications
Tips to Make Melasma Less Noticeable
- Reduce Sun Exposure
When it comes to melasma, prevention is the way to go, especially if exposure to the sun is the reason why you have it. Limiting your time in the sun, along with regular sunscreen usage—making sure to use sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide—and wearing a hat are all ways to stop your skin from going into overdrive and producing excess melanin.
- Prescription Creams
Your dermatologist may prescribe a topical hydroquinone cream, which is effective in preventing the production of melanin.
- Chemical Peels and Laser Treatments
People with chronic melasma may be prescribed chemical peels or laser treatment to diminish signs of hyperpigmentation. Multiple sessions are not uncommon to be carried out over several months because a noticeable outcome can be achieved.
- Switch to fragrance-free cosmetics and gentle soaps
Gentle skin care products are less likely to darken your melasma spots than products with fragrances and ingredients that are harsh and irritant.
- Vitamin C
Research indicates that over-the-counter vitamin C can brighten skin and fade hyperpigmentation without being too harsh on your skin.