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in Scottsdale, AZ

What Is Melasma?

You may have melasma if you have blotchy patches on your skin that are a darker pigment. This skin condition is seen in people across different ethnicities and occurs in pregnant women or women using birth control pills. However, men are also susceptible to getting melasma.

Melasma is a skin condition that causes brown or darker pigmented spots and patches on the face. It is the most common form of hyperpigmentation and affects men and women. However, it is typically seen in women due to hormonal changes (pregnancy, birth control, etc.) increasing the chance of melasma. You are also more likely to get melasma if someone in your family has it, as 50 percent of people with melasma have a family history of it.

The patches and spots caused by melasma don’t have any itch or pain-related symptoms; they are purely an aesthetic concern.

What Causes Melasma?

Factors that typically cause melasma include:

  • Sun exposure without proper protection
  • Tanning beds
  • Pregnancy (especially in the second or third trimester)
  • Use of certain medications (birth control pills, anti-seizure medications, blood pressure medications, etc.)
  • Genetics
  • Thyroid disease

How Do I Know If I Have Melasma?

If you’ve noticed discoloration patches and brown spots on your face, you may be a candidate for melasma treatment. A dermatologist can diagnose melasma by closely examining your face and neck. If there is any uncertainty about whether your pigmentation spots and patches are melasma or a different condition, then a skin biopsy may be performed to determine this.

Signs of melasma typically appear in the following areas:

  • Cheeks
  • Chin
  • Nose bridge
  • Forehead
  • Above the upper lip

Schedule your consultation with the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale to determine if you’re a candidate for melasma treatment.

What Are My Options for Melasma Treatment in Scottsdale, AZ?

While melasma doesn’t cause any harm to the body, many people wish to treat it for aesthetic purposes. Your treatment will depend on the extent of your melasma and your skin goals. At the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale, we offer topical treatments, prescriptive medications, chemical peels, and microneedling to treat melasma. Topical treatments can be tailored to patients’ needs to ensure the best results. Many patients use medications to decrease the pigment of their melasma. 

What Results Can I Expect After Melasma Treatment?

After melasma treatment, you’ll notice a significant improvement in the appearance of your melasma. Results will vary depending on the individual and treatment used; however, your brown spots and other skin pigment patches will be less apparent.

How long the results from topical treatments last is determined on a case-by-case basis. If your melasma is reoccurring, regular topical treatments may be needed to manage the pigmented spots.

The longevity of results from chemical peels and microneedling will depend on the extent of correction needed and the patient’s skin goals. During a consultation with us, we can determine if you’ll require multiple rounds of these treatments to get the results you want.

How Can I Prevent Melasma?

The best way to prevent melasma is to use proper sun protection whenever your skin is exposed to the sun. SPF 30 or higher is typically recommended. Sunscreens that contain iron oxide are especially effective for people with melasma. Protecting your skin with sunscreen is essential, but it is equally important to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if your skin is exposed to the sun for an extended period.

We recommend limiting your time in the sun and staying in the shade when possible. Whenever you spend time outside in the sun, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, hats, and clothing that covers the skin if you can.

Want to Learn More About Melasma & Melasma Treatment in Scottsdale, AZ?

If you’d like to learn more about melasma and your treatment options, call the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale at (480) 596-1110 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.

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Our Locations

Scottsdale, AZ:
11000 North Scottsdale Rd. Suite 120
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Carefree, AZ:
36800 North Sidewinder Rd. Suite A-2
Carefree, AZ 85377

Maricopa, AZ:
19756 N. John Wayne Pkwy. Suite 101
Maricopa, AZ 85139

Skin & Cancer Center Scottsdale