How Dermatologists Treat Melasma and How To Deal With It At Home (Photo: Tembela Bohle / Pexels)
Melasma appears in symmetrical blotches across the face.

Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that is more commonly found in women, especially those with darker skin tones. It's one of the most common skin conditions and according to The International Dermal Institute, affects more than five million Americans. While typical hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration is caused by acne, skin irritations and sun exposure, Melasma has that added factor of hormone fluctuations that makes it more difficult to treat.

Dr. Adam Friedman, dermatology professor at George Washington University, tells Allure that significant contributors to melasma are pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives and other hormonal therapies.

It's easy to differentiate melasma from other forms of pigmentation. Melasma appears as symmetrical blotches or patches on the face and is usually found on the forehead, cheeks, bridge of the nose, upper lip, and chin. While uncommon, it can also appear on parts of the body that are constantly exposed to the sun like the neck and forearms. That's also why more people report that their melasma is worse in the summer than during winter.

Melasma Treatment