Melasma is a common pigmentation problem faced mainly by women. It appears as brown, grey or black patches affecting the sun-exposed areas. Cheeks, forehead, upper lip, nose and chin, are involved usually in a symmetrical manner. While exact cause is unknown factors include sun exposure, pregnancy, drugs such as phenytoin, oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy, family history, hypothyroidism trigger it.
It is a most difficult problem to treat as it has a tendency of rebounding sometimes with more severity than before. One of he common problem faced by doctors is that many of the patients self medicate with steroid creams and damage the skin before consulting a proper dermatologist. Melasma cannot be fully cured, however multiple treatment options available can improve the appearance.
Melasma tends to recur and recurrence rates are higher if sun protective measures and maintenance skin care regimen are not adequately followed. The treatment options apart from creams, sun protection and oral tablets include Chemical peels, Lasers, Mesotherapy which are advised as per the case.