Common Triggers of Melasma?

What triggers the appearance of melasma spots? It is sun exposure or purely a genetic disposition?

Doctor Answers 2

Causes of melasma and treatment - Melarase creams

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Melasma is a hormonal problem, for the most part, and patients of any color can develop it.  It is caused by overstimulation of pigment cells in the epidermis.  To control the pigmentation, I recommend that my patients begin Melarase AM and Melarase PM, followed by MelaPeels once monthly for at least 3 months.

Triggers for Melasma

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Melasma is most prevalent in darker skinned patients so there is a predisposition linked to genetics. But genetics is not what causes Melasma to appear. Hormonal changes such as birth control, pregnancy and menopause are the primary triggers for the appearance of Melasma.

Once Melasma is apparent, sun exposure, excessive heat and continued hormonal changes (additional pregnancies or changes in birth control) can have an ongoing affect on the severity condition. At the very least, aggressively avoid sun exposure after diagnosis to limit the visibility of the condition and consult a physician about a hydroquinone based treatment program.

We have found only hydroquinone programs over 4% to be effective for medium to difficult cases. Limit hydroquinone use to 3 consecutive month as this is an FDA recommendation for this drug.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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