Melasma is a common skin problem that causes brown or gray-brown patches on the forehead, cheeks, chin, above the upper lip, and on the bridge of the nose. Some patients also experience melasma on their neck and/or forearms. Melasma is considered a cosmetic issue, as it does not cause any medical problems. However, many patients seek treatment for melasma because it affects their appearance and, in turn, their confidence.
Melasma is more common in women than in men. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, only 10% of melasma patients are men. Thought to be triggered by hormones, melasma is commonly experienced by women during pregnancy and therefore referred to as “the mask of pregnancy.” People with darker skin are more at risk of developing melasma, as are people who have a blood relative with melasma. Another cause of melasma is sun exposure, making daily SPF application an absolutely essential part of treatment and prevention. We recommend a mineral sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher be applied every morning no matter what your skin type may be.
At Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology our expert team of skin care professionals, including board-certified dermatologists, registered nurses, and estheticians help patients diagnose and treat melasma. We use the most advanced medical-grade skin care products, prescription topical and oral medications, and procedures to effectively treat melasma.
Who Has Melasma?
Although women and people with darker skin are more prone to melasma, the exact cause is unknown. However, doctors believe that melasma is caused by overactive melanocytes, our pigment-producing cells. Since people with darker skin have more active melanocytes, this explains why they are more likely to develop melasma.
"BACD is the absolute best. Has completely transformed my skin. Seeing Dr. He yesterday for my rosacea and melasma has already helped with my concerns. It means the world to be able to trust them."- L.M. / Google / Jun 10, 2020
"7/16/2020Dr. Austin is absolutely the best dermatologist in the US. I have seen countless Dermatologist from Stanford University to Dr. Obagi in Beverly Hills, none of them were able to help my melasma issue. Dr Austin looks out-of-the-box she’s smart, knowledgeable, self-confident and most importantly very experienced! She’s also a very kind beautiful lady who will listen to you and solve your problem. I am so happy I have found her after years of struggle. She has solved my melasma issue and I’m super happy! The treatment is easy and simple, just couple products for the face and a pill to take orally. She might be able to see you on zoom now that we have this pandemic problem. Do not despair whatever skin problem you have she will be able to solve it I am certain! It’s really refreshing to see doctors with this kind of confidence and experience!The office is impeccable and the staff is very kind and helpful as well."- L.S. / Yelp / Jul 15, 2020
"This review is long overdue... I have been seeing Dr. Andrea Hui Austin for the past seven years and she is the BEST! I’m a perfectionist and she addresses all of my skin concerns with skill and compassion. I don’t even mind driving up from Los Angeles to see her because she is the only person I trust with my face. She has treated me for and practically erased all of my acne, fine lines and melasma. Thank you, Dr. Austin and all of the sweet staff at BACD!"- K.M. / Yelp / Dec 20, 2021
"I found Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology via Yelp. I made my first appointment and had to wait for a month and a half to get in which was over a year ago. I had been to so many Dermatologists, Cosmetologists, clowns, rip offs you name it, this wait was so worth!! I had melasma due to my pregnancy, very bad acne scars. When I saw Dr Austin, I bombarded her with all my bad experiences and kept asking for a chemical peel, sounds so funny now:-) She brought me back to earth and came up with a plan and took her time to explain me about my issues first and then the steps of her plan. Within a few months, my melasma was almost gone. We are still working on my acne scars but they ve almost disappeared as well. Dr. Austin is the BEST dermatologist I have ever come across by far!! She fixed all my medical skin issues and my confidence as a result. In the meantime, I moved to South bay and have been driving an hour an a half to Sf to see her!! Also, I started doing Botox and fillers with her (I am 42). This place is worth every penny! Do yourself a favor and go see Dr. Austin if you have skin issues! She is an amazing sorcerer!"- S.O. / Yelp / Nov 02, 2019
"I highly recommend Dr. Steven He. I have had melasma and Nevi of Ota from on my cheeks and temples for the past 15 years. I’ve tried treatments from other dermatologists, including hydroxychloroquine cream, with no improvement. I’ve also met with other laser treatment centers, who presented cookie cutter treatments. However, I’ve seen friends and family get rebound hyperpigmentation on their face from aggressive dose of laser therapy. For Asian skin, sometimes the dose of laser and strength of chemical peels have to be adjusted due to skin sensitivity. As an Asian female physician, I was cautious about who to trust. I chose Dr. He because I heard he has lots of experience with Asian American patients. I started seeing him a few months ago, and I am extremely confident in his skills. He is thoughtful about his approach and tailors his treatment plan to the individual patient. I have had 5 treatments, starting with chemical peels to remove superficial melasma, and now transitioned to laser treatments for the darker spots. The spots have significantly lightened. I recently saw my family, who had been hounding me for years about my spots, and they could not even notice the spots! I am extremely satisfied with Dr. He’s care. He is a knowledgeable, conscientious, effective physician."- W.T. / Yelp / Sep 16, 2020
What To Expect
There is no cure for melasma, however, there are a number of treatment options available, including prescriptions such as hydroquinone, tretinoin, and corticosteroids and treatments such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, and light treatments. Our office compounds and dispenses high-quality prescription strength topical gels that effectively combat the symptoms of melasma. Patients may purchase these at check out following a visit with one of our board-certified dermatologists. A series of 4-6 chemical peels is also often a very effective treatment for melasma as is our Hydrafacial MD and SilkPeel microdermabrasion treatments.
Notoriously stubborn to treat, melasma treatment requires a commitment on behalf of the patient. Best results are achieved when patients careful adhere to their prescribed skin care regimen and treatment plan. Since melasma is a recurring condition, follow up appointments and maintenance treatment is often necessary. However, with patience, consistency, and the expertise of our treatment team, patients at Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology are able to achieve more even-toned, glowing, and vibrant skin.
Reveal Beautiful Skin
At Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology we truly believe that everyone can have better skin, including you! Melasma can act as a mask, obscuring your innately vibrant skin and making you feel less confident. If you have melasma, please call our dermatology office to schedule a consultation. Our team of experts can help you reveal the skin you have always wanted.
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