Melasma is a pigmentation disorder caused by hyperactive cells called melanocytes that respond to ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds. As these cells receive ultraviolet light they overproduce melanin that normally pigments our skin. Melasma is characterized by symmetric mottled brown pigmentation on the forehead, cheeks, or lip. The pigmentation continues to get worse with more sun and ultraviolet light exposure.
Melasma impacts up to 6 million Americans. About 90% of people with melasma are women. It is often seen to develop either during pregnancy, while on birth control, or hormone replacement. Melasma is thought to be caused by melanocytes responding to either estrogen or progesterone and then becoming over active during sun exposure. It can be very troubling for many people and often times very difficult to hide with cosmetic make-up.
The good news is that there are treatment options available. If you suspect that you are developing or already have melasma you should be evaluated by your dermatologist. As a board certified dermatologist, Dr. Gonzales has specialized training and experience in helping to reduce the pigmentation caused by melasma. Treatment options include lasers such as IPL, chemical peels, and prescription strength fading creams such as Triluma Cream. Triluma Cream is the only triple combination therapy FDA approved for the short term treatment of moderate to severe melasma. Most important, remember to always wear sunscreen and careful photo protection such as a wide brimmed hat.
Please contact our office today and schedule an appointment to begin improving the health and quality of your skin.