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Melasma is a darkening of the skin that can result in patches that can be tan, brown or gray. These patches can appear for a number of reasons, including an increase in hormone levels such as from pregnancy or birth control pills, or they can appear from overexposure from the sun. Sometimes these patches can fade, but other times they may stick around for a while.

Keep reading for information about Melasma and what you can do about it if you spot these patches on your skin.

Melasma Signs

If you notice some darkened patches on your face, make an appointment with your dermatologist to be properly diagnosed. Don’t try to remove these patches from your skin yourself.

Melasma usually forms in unusual patterns on your cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. This condition can sometimes even appear to look more like a mask, which is why it is often-times called the pregnancy mask or the mask of pregnancy.

Prevention

There are a number of things you can do to prevent these patches from appearing on your face.

Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is one way to help prevent Melasma, as well as other dermatology issues, as the sun is usually one of the key factors of Melasma. Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or more daily when you’re going to be out in the sun, even if you are just walking around.

This means wearing sunscreen in both the summer and the winter. The sun may not be as strong in the winter, but its rays can still be harmful. Look for makeup, lip balm and moisturizer that contains SPF for extra protection.

Stay Covered

Protect your skin by wearing clothing to protect your skin, such as long sleeves to protect your arms and shoulders, and wearing a hat or larger sunglasses that can help to protect your face.

Control Hormone Levels

Your hormone levels can fluctuate with birth control pills. If you’re taking them, ask your gynecologist about using different pills to lower your hormone levels. If you have an increase in your hormone levels due to pregnancy, most likely your Melasma will fade after you give birth.

These steps can help prevent Melasma from ever occurring. A dermatologist can also give you advice on prevention if you are concerned that you may be at risk.

Treatments for Melasma

You should never diagnose yourself or try to treat your Melasma yourself. Be sure to make an appointment with Asheboro Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center if you have spots or patches on your face. You need to have these patches diagnosed properly, as they could also be sun spots, age spots or even melanoma. It’s best to be diagnosed by a professional, rather than guessing and getting it wrong.

Treatment options usually vary depending on your Melasma. Some forms will fade with time, such as after pregnancy or after changing your birth control pills while other forms may need to be treated with an ointment to bleach or lighten the areas.

Other treatment options may include chemical peels, microdermabrasion or laser therapy depending on your level of Melasma and how damaged your skin is from the patches.

Again, it’s up to your dermatologist as to which treatment option is best for you. Don’t attempt to perform any of these treatments at home, as you can potentially damage your skin and cause your complexion to worsen.

Make an appointment today with your dermatologist if you notice patches on your skin or have mask-like patches on your face that weren’t there before. If you don’t have this treated you could end up with premature wrinkles or be more likely to develop skin cancer. Don’t simply cover these spots with makeup when you can have clear and even-toned skin once again.

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