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Melasma

 

Melasma is a dark skin discoloration usually on the face and sometimes on the neck and forearms.

Causes

  • Pregnancy
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Hormonal replacement therapy
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Allergic reactions to medications and cosmetics
  • Exposure to sun

Symptoms

  • Gray brown patches on the skin

Treatment
Symptoms are only cosmetic in nature and disappear gradually by:

  • Stopping triggers like oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy
  • After giving birth
  • Topical creams and depigmentation agents
  • Facial or chemical peels
  • Laser treatment in certain cases

Prevention

  • Avoiding exposure to sun
  • Using sunscreen
  • Using protective clothing and hats before stepping out in the sun.