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Melasma - San Francisco, CA*

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About Melasma

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.

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.

Other Considerations

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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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.