Do I Have Melasma?

I am a South Asian female in my 50's - I have a lot of dark patches (hormonal deposits and sun exposure) on my face that make me very self-concious. Is it melasma?

I went to a dermatologist for consultation and was offered a $7500 package that included chemical peel, some kind of dermabrasion, laser and she also threw in Botox for my neck.

What is the best course (considering I don't have $$$ to drop)? Initally it was recommended I use prescription tretinoin cream, but how do I know if I have melasma and if these treatments would help?

Doctor Answers 2

Melasma treatment - There are no guarantees!

A recent study shows that tretinoin and a strong steroid cream can reduce melasma, as well as using hydroquinone, which can have some side effects.

I would recommend several months of this treatment if it has not been done yet, as the laser can worsen the melasma. There are no guarantees!


Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

What is melasma and what can I use to treat melasma

Melasma is a visible pigmentation, usually on the face, that is caused by a combination of hormones, genetics, inflammation, and sun exposure.  I begin treatment with Melaquin AM and Melaquin PM creams and these seem to work well to improve pigmentation.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

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