Melasma / Chloasma

Melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy can be corrected when diagnosed early and treated correctly.

Melasma is a common disorder characterised by patches of brown or grey skin. Chloasma describes melasma in a woman carrying a child. Melasma is not cancerous, nor does it become cancer. There are skin cancers that mimic melasma however, so meeting with a skincare expert is important. Austin Clinic is experienced at diagnosing and treating melasma in both men and women

The mechanism of melasma remains somewhat unknown. Doctors believe a genetic malfunction of colour-making cells (melanocytes) causes hyperpigmentation on the nose, cheeks, and forehead, the bridge of the nose, and upper lips. Occasionally melasma may develop on the arm and neck skin. Sun exposure is the most common cause of melasma in both genders, while hormones are the key factor in chloasma. Skincare products may also be a trigger.

Melasma may fade on its own, with chloasma likely to do so when a woman’s hormones re-set after birth. Prescription-strength topical creams, lotions, and gels can be applied to discoloured patches. If they are ineffective, a range of minimally invasive treatments including microdermabrasion, chemical peel, light therapy, and laser treatment may be recommended. Austin Clinic uses specialised equipment to differentiate between melasma and other skin conditions, to identify appropriate treatments.