West Houston Dermatology

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Melasma Treatment in Houston

Melasma

Melasma is a common skin condition where patches of brown and/or gray spots appear on the skin of the patient’s face.  Melasma is sometimes referred to as the “mask of pregnancy” because it mainly affects pregnant women, or women who use oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy, but in some instances men can also be affected.  Sun exposure, without using a UVA/UVB sunscreen, can exacerbate the condition.  Melasma is not hazardous to the patient’s health and often will disappear on its own after childbirth or discontinuation of oral contraceptives.  However, some women find that the dark splotches can hang around like an unwanted guest.  Diagnosing melasma is simple and can usually be done by visual inspection from a dermatologist.  However, to tell how deeply the melasma penetrates the skin, the dermatologist may use a device called a “Woods light.”  Fortunately there are several options for treating melasma.  Topical medicines for treatment to lighten melasma include hydroquinone, tretinoin, azelaic acid, and kojic acid.  In addition to these topical treatments melasma can be treated by procedures such as a chemical peel, microdermabrasion, and in some instances a fractal laser.  The professionals at West Houston Dermatology offer patients a variety of treatments including the services of an aesthetician.  If you have questions about melasma that hasn’t resolved, contact West Houston Dermatology today.