ZocdocAnswersWhat treatments exist for melasma?

Question

What treatments exist for melasma?

I'm pregant (5 months) and I'm developing what I gather is a pretty bad case of melasma. Naturally, I don't like seeing my face really discolored, but is there any way to fight this if it's a hormonal effect? Are there safe treatments out there to suppress the melasma or at least keep it from ecoming permanent?

Answer

Melasma is a very common problem in pregnancy. The doctors who will be best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your OB / GYN doctor or your dermatologist. Melasma is an acquired skin condition in which dark-colored spots appear on certain surfaces of the skin, usually those that are sun exposed, such as the face and neck. Melasma is often worse, and often appears for the first time, during pregnancy due to pregnancy related hormones. Fortunately, it usually improves when the pregnancy is over and hormone levels return to their pre-pregnancy levels. Therefore, the best method during pregnancy for treating melasma is simply to take care of the skin. This can include using a daily moisturizing cream, wearing sun screen, and also limiting sun exposure. This can allow you to wait for improvement until after the pregnancy. If it does not improve, a number of other treatments could be recommended by your dermatologist, including exfoliation, chemical peels, bleaching agents, and laser treatments. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your specific skin condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your OB / GYN doctor or your dermatologist is recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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