Melasma appears like freckles on the skin and can be a challenge to treat, even though the issue is primarily cosmetic. At Anna Chacon, MD, in Miami, Florida, board-certified dermatologist Anna Chacon, MD, FAAD, diagnoses and treats melasma in her office and online with teledermatology. Schedule your in-person or teledermatology appointment over the phone or online at Anna Chacon, MD, today.
Melasma is a skin condition that causes dark spots to appear on your skin’s surface. These spots look similar to freckles but are brown or blue-gray in color. Melasma is particularly common during pregnancy and often subsides on its own eventually, but you might still be interested in exploring treatments to clear the spots ahead of time.
Dr. Chacon can diagnose melasma with a skin exam either in her office or online with teledermatology. She can tell you which of the three types you have:
Epidermal melasma involves discoloration concentrated in the epidermis, which is the surface layer of your skin. The spots have well-defined borders and are bold in color.
Dermal melasma is a bit deeper in the skin. It has light brown and blue tones, and the spots have blurry borders. Dermal melasma is not as easy to treat as epidermal melasma.
Mixed melasma is a combination of both epidermal and dermal spots. This is the most common of all three types.
Melasma comes from two main causes: hormones and light radiation. Pregnant women tend to get melasma because of the intense hormone fluctuations throughout pregnancy. Various types of light, including ultraviolet and infrared light, can cause a case of melasma or make it worse.
Other factors that may contribute to your melasma spots are:
Your melasma is not painful or itchy: It’s solely a cosmetic condition. It’s up to you whether you want to treat the spots to minimize them or hold off.
Treating melasma can be challenging, but there are plenty of options to help you manage the changes in your skin. You should avoid circumstances that can worsen your melasma, like any of the items listed under its potential causes.
There are multiple medications that work to lighten melasma spots, and many of them are safe for use during pregnancy. Dr. Chacon directs you toward topical therapies that minimize spots as well as chemical peels and other resurfacing treatments that offer improvements.
For more information on melasma and its treatments, schedule an in-person or teledermatology appointment with Anna Chacon, MD, over the phone or online today.