Melasma appears as dark pigmentation in the skin. The condition is usually brown or tan in color and most commonly affects the cheeks, forehead and other parts of the face. While the condition is most common during pregnancy, other risk factors also exist and may increase one's chances of developing melasma.

Cause Still Unknown

While melasma is often associated with hormone levels, the exact cause of the condition remains unknown scientists and researchers. While the condition may go away on its own, some women notice that the condition persists long after giving birth. Treatment exists that may provide relief from the condition if it does not fade on its own. In other cases, melasma may reappear after fading. Staying out of the sun and wearing sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher may help to reduce the chances of the condition reappearing.

Other Risk Factors

Women who are taking birth control pills, undergoing hormone therapy or who have a family history of melasma may be at a greater risk of developing the condition. Individuals who work outdoors and who are exposed to sunlight on a daily basis may also be at a greater risk. Patients with dark skin tones (especially those of Latin, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African heritage) may be at greater risk of melasma. Men may also develop melasma, although the condition is most common in pregnant women. Talk to a skincare professional to learn more about melasma and how to reduce your risk of developing the condition or how you can reduce the risk of melasma reappearing after fading.