- Melasma is a skin condition that causes dark, discolored patches on the skin, most commonly on the face.
- While melasma can affect both men and women, it’s more commonly seen in women.
- For some individuals, melasma can clear up on its own, however, others may require a treatment plan.
Just like the rest of your body, your skin is constantly changing. From sun exposure to hormonal changes and even natural aging wear and tear, the skin can go through a lot. Noticing any new skin spots can be a cause for alarm and your first thought might be skin cancer, but it could also be melasma.
Melasma is a skin condition that causes dark, discolored spots and patches on the skin, most commonly on the face. And it’s more common than you may think! The Cleveland Clinic says 15- to 50-percent of pregnant women develop it and between 1.5- to 30-percent of the population may develop it in their lifetime. It usually starts between 20- and 40-years of age. Follow along as we uncover everything you need to know about melasma, including the common signs, causes, treatment options, and prevention tips.
Common Signs of Melasma
The telltale sign of melasma is patches or spots of discoloration. These patches will be darker than your skin color (usually brown or gray in color) and are usually symmetrical, Healthline points out.
Melasma most commonly develops on the face, usually affecting the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, and chin, however, it can also affect other areas of the body too like your neck or forearms. While melasma doesn’t cause any harm, some individuals feel self-conscious about the patches. Even though melasma is not skin cancer, it can look like other skin conditions so it’s important to see your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis.