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Melasma: Signs and symptoms

What are the signs of melasma?

Common signs (what you see) of melasma are brown or gray-brown patches on the face. These patches most commonly appear on the:

  • Cheeks

  • Forehead

  • Bridge of the nose

  • Above the upper lip

  • Chin

Some people get patches on their forearms or neck. This is less common.


Blotchy patches of darker color often appear on the cheeks. The woman on the right developed the brown patches while pregnant.

Melasma patches of darker colored skin on the cheeks

Melasma does not cause any symptoms (what people feel). But many people dislike the way melasma makes their skin look. If you dislike these patches, sun protection and treatment can help.

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