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Melasma (Chloasma, Pregnancy Mask)

  • 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