Melasma is a condition related to sun exposure and your normal hormones. It is more common in women, but can be seen in men as well. It is seen in patients of all skin types, with most common location on the cheeks, upper lip, and forehead.
Treatment includes the following:
1. Sun protection:
Sunscreen and sun protection are first and most important step. Daily sunscreen use in imperative, all your round. This is especially true during summer months. I recommend SPF30 and above.
2. Topical bleaching creams:
Multiple topical bleaching creams exist. Some of these are prescription, such as hydroquinone, and others are cosmeceutical and over the counter. These work best when used in combination with sunscreen and procedural modalities.
3. Microneedling with platelet rich plasma (PRP):
This treatment improves melasma by peeling the superficial layer of the skin and stimulating healthy skin to replace the sun-damaged skin. PRP, in turn, helps stimulate collagen and give the skin glow after the procedure.
4. Laser therapy:
Laser therapy is usually used to resurface the skin and peel the abnormal skin off so it can be replaced by normal non-sundamaged skin.
5. Combination therapy:
The best approach to treating melasma is combination therapy that includes all of the above options.