Melasma is a common disorder of hyperpigmentation. It is characterized by symmetrical brown-gray pigmentation affecting the cheeks, forehead, upper lip & chin. It impacts all races, although the disease is more commonly observed in darker racial ethnic groups. The condition is more common in areas with intense UV light exposure. However excessive sun exposure, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, oral contraceptives, and genetic predisposition are thought to play a role in this disorder.

Melasma is primarily a cosmetic condition and is not associated with an internal disease. There are multiple safe and effective treatments available, including chemical peels and lasers. Therapies for melasma include: hydroquinone formulations, retinoids, azelaic acid, kojic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and some laser techniques such as Fraxel or IPL. Laser therapies should be used with care and caution in darker skin types.

Numerous patients are interested in improving the appearance of their skin through laser therapy, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and other treatments. If you are ready to discuss treatments for melasma with a dermatologist in Los Angeles, please call our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Grimes.

Download Dr. Grimes’ article “Melasma: Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, and diagnosis” below to read more about melasma and how it is diagnosed.