Causes of melasma

Melasma is a skin condition that can vary depending on skin tone and skin type but can be diagnosed by a Doctor or Dermatologist. It’s frequently referred to as the ‘mask of pregnancy’ as it often occurs in females during or after pregnancy due to frequent hormonal changes. Typically, melasma is diagnosed by a specialist just looking at your skin, although occasionally you may need a more in-depth analysis.

Melasma occurs due to the overproduction of cells that colour your skin and create pigment. It’s a very common skin condition that has no medical complications and is also treatable. You will find that melasma fades over time and it typically has brown, blue, grey, and dark brown patches on the skin. Not only this, but melasma can also appear in flat patches on the skin, or also freckle-like spots with gaps missing pigment in between. The most commonly affected areas are the following;

  • Upper lip
  • Cheeks
  • Forehead
  • Forearms
  • Nose
  • Chin

Melasma can also occur on the body, as it can affect anywhere on the body that sees the sunlight, although it is less common. Fairer skin complexions are more susceptible to melasma as you have less melanin in your skin, it is more likely for your body to overproduce it when exposed to the sun. 90% of people diagnosed with melasma are women, with only the other 10% being men.


Types Of Melasma 


  • Mixed – The most common kind of melasma, it has both brown and blue patterns and colourings.


  • Epidermal – Dark brown in colour with an obvious border, it is very apparent under black light.


  • Dermal – Typically has a light brown or blue hue and has no different view when under black light.


melasma and darkened skin of cheeks
woman facing camera with melasma on cheek

Melasma treatments

We can help advise you on the best treatment pathway in order to minimise your melasma. As we mentioned before, this condition does fade over time and can even disappear by itself, but in the case of wanting treatment, we can help. Normally 3 things are taken into consideration, how deep the melasma is in your skin, your skin tone and type, and any triggers that you may have such as sunlight or hormonal contraceptives.


An important note is that melasma is always worsened or triggered by the sun, therefore wearing an SPF daily and reapplying throughout the day is crucial. Our top recommended treatments for melasma are;


  • Microneedling

  • PHP 

  • Chemical peels


As these treatments all encourage the natural healing process of your body, these treatments will encourage your body to heal and reproduce the cells in the skin that are causing melasma. Chemical peels will not do this, but they deeply exfoliate the face reaching more layers of the skin than traditional skincare, therefore resulting in a more even skin tone. 

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