Do you have patches of darker or discolored skin? You may have melasma, a common condition seen by Vasantha Natarajan, MD, at Evergreen Wellness Clinic in San Jose, California. There are treatments that can help, and booking a one-on-one consultation is a great place to begin. Online scheduling is one option, or you can call to speak with a friendly member of the administrative staff to set up your visit.
Melasma is a common skin condition characterized by patches of light brown, dark brown, or blue/grey skin. These areas can be large or as small as a freckle.
More common in women than in men, melasma often occurs on the face, especially the cheeks, forehead, and upper lip. The condition is sometimes referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” because it often affects pregnant women.
The areas of discoloration sometimes grow lighter or darker over time, and sun exposure usually makes them more pronounced. Most people who develop melasma will begin to notice symptoms between the ages of 20-40.
Researchers believe that the primary causes of melasma are radiation and hormones. Radiation can darken patches of skin regardless of whether it comes from infrared, ultraviolet, or visible light. Hormone fluctuations are also linked to skin discoloration, which is why the condition often affects pregnant women or those on certain types of hormonal birth control.
Additional causes of melasma may include:
There is no link between melasma and skin cancer. The condition is an aesthetic concern, and some people with melasma only experience temporary discoloration, while others have discoloration that lingers over time.
There are numerous treatments that can reduce the appearance of melasma. Dr. Natarajan begins by asking about your medication history and lifestyle. It’s possible that altering your medications or reducing exposure to radiation can improve melasma.
Numerous topical treatments can help fade areas of discoloration. Some are used throughout the day, while others are applied only at night.
Chemical peels can be a great way to reduce melasma and hyperpigmentation. Light-based treatments like intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser therapy can also be effective.
If you’d like more information about melasma and other skin discoloration issues, schedule a face-to-face consultation at Evergreen Wellness Clinic today. Online booking is a convenient option that can be done any time of day or night, and you can also reach the office by phone during normal business hours.