ASK DR. STEYN
Dear Dr. Steyn,
A skin therapist friend of mine told me I may have melasma on my cheeks and forehead. What’s the cause and can I get rid of it? Thanks, Rubina.
Thank you for your question.
Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation that typically affects women (although men can get it too) and involves elevated levels of female hormones.
Some possible causes include: pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone irregularities, and prolonged UV exposure.
If you have this condition, you’ll notice large discoloured or dark patches on the face, symmetrically located on the cheeks, forehead, and sometimes on the neck, arms and even lips.
In my experience, successfully treating or managing melasma requires several steps. I would start with Microneedling to disrupt or reduce your skin’s melanin production, coupled with home-care products to fade away existing pigmentation. We can also prescribe some IPL sessions and skin peels to minimize the pigmented lesions that are located deeper in the skin for a smoother, and more even complexion.
Make sure to use a sunscreen daily to prevent melasma from returning as cumulative UV exposure seems to intensify its appearance.