I Hospital Health Combatting Melasma: Effective Treatment Strategies

Combatting Melasma: Effective Treatment Strategies

Sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy,” melasma is a skin disease that causes dark, discolored patches that usually show up on the face. Melasma doesn’t pose any health risks, but it can be upsetting for people who have it, lowering their self-esteem and confidence. It is important to understand the disease and how to treat it in order to manage it well and get clearer, more even-toned skin.

Melasma shows up as brown or gray-brown spots on the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, upper lip, and other parts of the face that get a lot of sun. Melasma can happen to anyone, but it happens more often in women, especially those with darker skin, who are pregnant, or who take hormonal medicines.

While no one knows for sure what causes melasma, there are a number of things that can lead to it, such as:

Changes In Hormones: For example, changes in hormones during pregnancy can lead to melasma. So many people call it the “mask of pregnancy.”

Sunlight: Ultraviolet (UV) light causes melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color, to be made more. Too much time in the sun can make melasma worse and make the patches stand out more.

Genetics: A person’s family background can make them more likely to get melasma. Melasma may be more likely to happen to you if a close family member has it.

Hormonal Drugs: Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy are two examples of hormonal drugs that can make you more likely to get melasma.

Effective Treatment Strategies

While melasma can be challenging to treat, several strategies have proven effective in reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and restoring a more even complexion. Treatment approaches often involve a combination of topical agents, procedures, and lifestyle modifications tailored to the individual’s needs.

1. Sun Protection: Melasma is made worse by too much time in the sun, so protecting your skin from the sun is very important for controlling the condition. Some things that can help with this are getting some shade every day, wearing protective clothes, and covering your face with hats and sunglasses to block UV rays.

2. Topical Treatments: Various topical agents can help lighten melasma patches and prevent their recurrence. These may include:

Hydroquinone: A topical skin-lightening agent that inhibits melanin production. It’s available over-the-counter in lower concentrations and by prescription in higher strengths.

Topical Retinoids: By speeding up cell turnover, retinoids like tretinoin can help even out skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.

Azelaic Acid: This ingredient has both skin-lightening and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective for treating melasma.

Kojic Acid: Kojic acid stops the production of melanin and is often used with other external medicines to treat melasma.

3. Chemical Peels: During a chemical peel, a chemical solution is used to clean the skin. This removes the top layers of skin, revealing new skin that is smoother and has more even color. Some chemical peels can help treat melasma, especially when used with other cosmetic products.

4. Laser Therapy: Laser treatments, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy and fractional laser resurfacing, target melanin in the skin and can help reduce the appearance of melasma. These treatments work by delivering energy to the pigment-containing cells, causing them to break apart and be absorbed by the body.

5. Microneedling: To do microneedling, you put your skin through small holes made by a machine with needles. This makes the body make more collagen and helps external medicines work better, so it can be used along with other treatments for melasma.

6. Combination Therapy: Combining different treatment modalities can enhance efficacy and improve outcomes for melasma patients. For example, a dermatologist may recommend a regimen that includes topical agents, chemical peels, and laser therapy tailored to the individual’s skin type and severity of melasma.

7. Maintenance Therapy: Melasma is a chronic condition, and ongoing maintenance therapy is often necessary to prevent recurrence and maintain results. This may involve continued use of topical agents, periodic chemical peels, and diligent sun protection.


Although melasma can be hard to deal with, it is possible to make big improvements to your skin with the right mix of treatments and changes to your lifestyle. You need to work closely with a doctor such as Debra Jaliman, MD to make a personalized treatment plan if you want to get rid of melasma and get clearer, brighter skin. People can feel better about themselves and have a more even complexion by putting sun protection first, sticking to a regular skincare routine, and looking into different treatment choices.