- Melasma (Chloasma, Pregnancy Mask) is a pigmentary disorder which generally affects women in their childbearing age. Oral contraceptives and hormones would play an important role in their appearance.
- It is important for the dermatologist (skin doctor) to classify melasma:
- according to location: it can be located in the middle of the face (centrofacial) or more peripherally. It is also rarely located outside of the face (ABCD: Acquired brachial cutaneous dyschromatosis)
- according to depth: in can be epidermal, dermal, or mixed (most common type). Examination with Wood’s light is invaluable.
- It is a difficult problem to treat as the condition may recur once treatment is stopped. It is generally good to start with creams with appropriate sunprotection.
- Chemical peels can be considered and will act on the superficial aspect of the pigmentation. Lasers are sometimes useful but it is important to understand the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, especially in darker skin types.
Information on Melasma