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What Causes Melasma?

Prevalent in women during their reproductive years, melasma is the discoloration of facial skin. It usually manifests in the form of tan, brown, or blue-gray patches or spots on the skin of the central portion of the face, jawline, and cheek bones. Pregnant women, particularly those of Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern origin, have a higher chance of developing this condition.

Causes of Melasma

While the exact causes are unknown, it is believed that the following may lead to the development of melasma:

  • Sun exposure: A lot of exposure to sun is believed to be the major cause, particularly in those who already have a genetic predisposition to this. It has been found that melasma usually develops in the summer and that the pigmentation is less visible in the winter.
  • Genetics: If there is a history of melasma in your family, you may be susceptible to it too.
  • Hormone levels: Imbalances in hormone levels in the body, as in common among women during pregnancy, can lead to melasma. However, it is believed that estrogen is not responsible for this. Post-menopausal women who undergo progesterone hormone replacement therapy are more likely to develop this than those who only receive estrogen. Birth control pills may also play a role.
  • Medications: Anti-seizure medications may make you more susceptible to melasma, particularly with excessive exposure to UV (ultraviolet) light.
  • Other causes: Certain products that you use may irritate your skin leading to increased production of melanin. This may accelerate any symptoms you may already have.

Melasma may or may not need treatment. Sometimes, use of sunblocks may take care of it. Other times, it may go away on its own. Stopping hormone replacement therapy and consumption of birth control pills may also alleviate the symptoms. But, there will be occasions where treatment is prescribed. Particularly for those individuals having a family history of melasma, sunblocks and avoiding sun exposure are essential.

Interested In Learning More About Treating Melasma? Contact North Dallas Dermatology

To learn more about any of the conditions we treat, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Dallas, and we can be reached at (214) 761-8524. We look forward to hearing from you.

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North Dallas Dermatology Associates8144 Walnut Hill Lane Suite 1300
Dallas Texas 75231
Fax: (214) 420-7380



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