Melasma in Boston, MA

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What is Melasma?

Melasma, also known as chloasma, happens when irregular patches of darkened skin show up on the face or forearms. These spots usually occur evenly on the brows, cheeks, nose, or upper lip and are brown or tan in color. The appearance of melasma sets it apart from other conditions that lead to dark patches on the skin. Melasma is somewhat common and is found more often in women. It may be caused by sun damage or from hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy and menopause. Individuals with darker skin types are more inclined to melasma than those who have lighter complexions. Dr. Vladyslava Doktor treats melasma regularly at Skin Center Boston in Boston, MA where we offer several treatments that can help reduce the visibility of this condition.

What Causes Melasma?

The cause of melasma is unknown. Specialists think the dark patches in melasma could be caused by a number of different factors, including hormone fluctuations, family history, race, anti-seizure drugs, and other medicines that make skin more susceptible to pigmentation after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Excessive sunlight exposure is thought to be the primary cause of melasma, especially in people with a genetic predisposition to the condition. Studies have revealed that people typically develop melasma in the summertime when the sun is the most intense. In the winter, the hyperpigmentation tends to become less visible or lighter.

Get a Professional Diagnosis

If you suffer from melasma and are tired of trying to cover it with makeup or spending money on over-the-counter remedies that don't work, we invite you to call Skin Center Boston to schedule an appointment. Melasma needs a specialized diagnosis so the ideal treatment can be given, in fact, if the incorrect treatment is applied, the skin could actually become darker. Dr. Vladyslava Doktor can correctly diagnose and treat melasma to provide you with a wonderful outcome.

What are the Symptoms of Melasma?

Melasma is characterized by discoloration or hyperpigmentation mostly on the face. There are kinds of patterns identified in those with melasma:

  • Centrofacial (center of the face) – discoloration among the nose, chin, forehead, cheeks, and upper lip
  • Malar (cheekbones) – discoloration near the top of the cheekbone
  • Mandibular (jawbone) – discoloration along the jaw

In all three patterns, the skin will look blotchy and uneven. It may also present itself on the neck and forearms. While it doesn't do any physical harm, it can cause self-consciousness.

Is Melasma Treatable?

There are a number of ways for treating melasma. There are a number of topical creams, gels, and lotions that can help encourage skin lightening. There are also dermatology treatments, such as microneedling and chemical peels, that can help. Another solution is intense pulsed light therapy, or IPL. Unlike lasers that use intense, focused light, IPL is focused broadband light, meaning the recovery period is short. Results normally last when the patient implements good sun protection and upkeep. For more information on these different treatment options, contact dermatologist Dr. Vladyslava Doktor at Skin Center Boston.

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