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Melasma: Overview


What is melasma?

Melasma is a common skin problem. It causes brown to gray-brown patches, usually on the face. Most people get it on their cheeks, bridge of their nose, forehead, chin, and above their upper lip. It also can appear on other parts of the body that get lots of sun, such as the forearms and neck.

Melasma

Your forehead is a common place to get melasma.

One of the most common treatments for melasma is sun protection. This means wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying the sunscreen every two hours. Dermatologists also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside. Sunscreen alone may not give you the protection you need.

Women are far more likely than men to get melasma. It is so common during pregnancy that melasma is sometimes called "the mask of pregnancy." Hormones seem to trigger melasma.


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Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

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