What is Melasma?
Melasma, also known as chloasma, occurs when irregular patches of darkened skin appear on the face or forearms. These tan or brown spots typically occur evenly on the forehead, cheeks, nose, or upper lip. The appearance of melasma distinguishes it from other skin conditions that lead to darkening of the skin. Melasma is a common condition and is found more often in females. It may be due to sun damage or by hormonal fluctuations, such as menopause and pregnancy. Individuals with darker skin types are more prone to melasma than people with lighter complexions. Dr. Annabelle Garcia treats melasma regularly at Sonterra Dermatology in San Antonio, TX, where we provide several treatments which may minimize the appearance of the condition.
"Great doctor. Short wait time. Great staff. Good results (I hope). "- B. / Demandforce / Mar 12, 2016
"I came here in February and had a wonderful experience. I only waited about 10 minutes and a lovely PA treated me. She was very warm and engaging, I really appreciated it because I was initially anxious and uncomfortable about the procedure. We laughed a lot and although the process was quite painful, she definitely made it more bearable. Will be following up soon for a second!"- B. / Google / Oct 23, 2020
"Visit was fine . They explained everything and was able to get treatment right away. They were nice and Good service overall"- K.W. / Google / Aug 20, 2022
"Excellent customer service, Dr. Moore has the best bedside manner with his patience. Would highly recommend Dr. Moore And his staff"- L.H. / Google / Aug 19, 2022
"Dr. Milton was super thorough, kind, and a wonderful listener. It’s the first time I’ve had that great of an experience with a dermatologist. I would highly recommend!"- M.O. / Google / Aug 19, 2022
What Causes Melasma?
The specific cause of melasma remains unidentified. Experts believe that the dark patches in melasma may be triggered by numerous factors, including hormone fluctuations, family history of melasma, race, anti-seizure medications, along with other medications, which make the skin more prone to discoloration following exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Excess sunlight exposure is thought to be the main cause of melasma, particularly in individuals with a hereditary predisposition to this condition. Studies have shown that individuals normally develop melasma in the summer months when the sun is most intense. In the winter months, hyperpigmentation tends to be less visible or milder.
What are the Symptoms of melasma?
Melasma is characterized by discoloration or hyperpigmentation, primarily in the facial areas. Three kinds of ordinary facial patterns are recognized in people with melasma:
- Centrofacial – hyperpigmentation around the forehead, cheeks, upper lip, nose, chin, and other central regions of the face
- Malar – melasma patterns about the top of the cheekbone
- Mandibular – hyperpigmentation parallel with the jawline
How Can Melasma be Treated?
There are several solutions for the treatment of melasma. First, there is a brightening regimen, which includes a variety of topical ointments, gels, or lotions that may be recommended to help encourage skin lightening. Second, there are laser treatments that can be utilized in order to improve the tone of the dark patches caused by melasma. At Sonterra Dermatology, we usually recommend using either the LaseMD™ or Sciton® Halo™ devices when combatting the effects of melasma. Improvements from either of these treatment methods are usually long-lasting when the patient implements good sun protection and maintenance.
Plan Your Procedure
Get a Professional Diagnosis
If you are affected by melasma and are tired of attempting to cover it with cosmetics, or if you spend money on over-the-counter remedies that do not give you the results that you desire, we invite you to contact Sonterra Dermatology to schedule a consultation at our office in San Antonio, TX. Melasma needs a special diagnosis so the ideal treatment can be given. If the incorrect treatment is implemented, the skin might become worse. Dr. Garcia can correctly diagnose and address melasma to provide you with an excellent result.