Melasma, also known as chloasma, occurs when irregular patches of darkened skin appear on the face or forearms. These tan or brown patches generally occur symmetrically over the forehead, nose, cheeks, or upper lip. The symmetry of melasma sets it apart from other skin conditions that cause the skin to darken. Melasma is not at all uncommon and occurs more often in women. It may be caused by sun damage or hormonal fluctuations, like during menopause and pregnancy. Those with darker skin types are far more prone to melasma compared to those with lighter complexions. Seasoned dermatologist Dr. Jay Mehta treats melasma regularly at Arizona Skin Institute in Surprise, AZ, where we offer several solutions that may help reduce the visibility of this condition. If you live in the Greater Phoenix area, call our office today to learn more and to schedule a consultation.


The specific cause of melasma remains unidentified. Experts believe that the dark patches in melasma may be caused by numerous factors, such as hormone fluctuations, genetics, stress, and certain prescription drugs. Excess sun exposure is thought to be the major cause of melasma, especially for those with a genetic predisposition to melasma. Clinical studies have demonstrated that people typically develop melasma in the summertime when the sunlight is most intense. In the winter months, hyperpigmentation tends to be less pronounced.


There are several treatment options for melasma. A variety of topical creams, gels, and lotions can be used to help minimize hyperpigmentation. There are also dermatological procedures, such as microneedling, chemical peels, and light-based therapies, that can help. Depending on the severity and location of your hyperpigmentation, Dr. Mehta will build a custom treatment plan that is best suited to your needs. He will also consider your overall health and personal preferences. We highly recommend routine sun protection for the long-term maintenance and improvement of melasma.


If you suffer from melasma and are searching for an effective treatment to improve your complexion, call Arizona Skin Institute in Surprise, AZ, today. Dr. Mehta will be happy to sit down with you to discuss your skin concerns and build a custom treatment plan to help provide the results you’ve been hoping for. He has helped countless people in the Greater Phoenix area and looks forward to serving you, too.