Advertisement

What is melasma?

Patricia Farris, MD
Dermatology

Melasma is also called the mask of pregnancy.  Melasma is a symmetric brownish discoloration of the skin that occurs on the forehead, cheeks or above the lip. Melasma comes from an interaction between hormones and sun exposure. This is why it is seen in women who are pregnant, on oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy.

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

Melasma is a tan, symmetrical, and very stubborn patch of hyperpigmentation, usually found on the cheekbones, forehead, and upper lip. It can be a big blotchy mark or a small dark stain. If you have a similar discoloration on both sides of the mouth or both cheeks, that fits the pattern of melasma.

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

More About this Book

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Melasma is a common condition that produces brown or gray patches on the skin. Melasma usually affects skin on the face, though it may also appear on any part of the body that is frequently exposed to the sun. Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing can help prevent melasma. See your dermatologist if you have any new or suspicious spots or marks on your skin.

Continue Learning about Skin Disorders

3 Treatment Options for Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma
3 Treatment Options for Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Treatment for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is a little different for each person. Learn about your treatment options.  
Read More
What should I know about using sunscreen if I have seborrheic keratoses?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Seborrheic keratoses are skin growths that may become irritated or scaly. Use caution when you g...
More Answers
6 Things That Can Worsen Atopic Dermatitis
6 Things That Can Worsen Atopic Dermatitis6 Things That Can Worsen Atopic Dermatitis6 Things That Can Worsen Atopic Dermatitis6 Things That Can Worsen Atopic Dermatitis
Dry temperatures, chemicals and other atopic dermatitis triggers to avoid.
Start Slideshow
How Can Exfoliating My Skin Keep It Healthy?
How Can Exfoliating My Skin Keep It Healthy?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.