Melasma is a common skin concern that can be treated here at our office in Fort Lauderdale. It is characterized by grayish-brown or brown patches of skin, usually on the face. Anyone can get melasma, though it is rare in men.
Signs and symptoms of melasma
The number one visible sign of melasma is dark patches, grayish-brown or brown in color. They usually develop on the face, especially the:
- Upper lip area
Discolored patches may also appear on the arms or shoulders, although it is not common. Melasma does not pose a health risk or cause discomfort. However, it is highly visible and many people are unhappy with the appearance of their skin.
What you can do
UV radiation is a significant factor in the development of melasma. Therefore, sun protection is the best home treatment. To effectively protect your skin:
- Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen product every day. It should be applied liberally to all sun exposed areas at least 15 minutes before going outdoors. Reapply every two hours, or sooner if the skin is exposed to water.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim that shades your face. Even high-SPF sunscreen may not be enough protection.
Sometimes dark patches will fade when the trigger is removed. For example, it may go away after a pregnant woman gives birth. If the melasma is a side effect of medication, it may be resolved with changing your prescription. In some cases, the discoloration can be long-lasting or permanent without treatment.
Dr. Andrew treats melasma with various topical formulas and light-based therapies. The best treatment depends on the severity of the problem and the patient’s unique skin characteristics. To learn about your options, visit Dr. Andrew for an evaluation and consultation. Just call our office at (561) 708-5004
to schedule your appointment.