Diagnosing Melasma in African American Patients

I've researched lots and I can only find pictures of Melasma of people who are hispanic or caucasian. I've been having this problem since I was 15. I'm female and above my upper lip is really dark. The picture actually makes it look better. I don't know what it is and I'm getting tired of hiding it now. What could it be?

Doctor Answers 2

Treating melasma and skin pigmentation in African American skin

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Melasma or normal variations in skin tone could be the cause of your pigmentation.  In either case, topical skin lighteners such as Melarase will work well to control the pigmentation in African American skin. 

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Melasma occurs in all races and skin tones

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Melasma occurs in all skin hues; in some it may be more noticeable or bothersome than others.  Melasma, however, is not the only cause of darkening of the skin in various areas, and I would encourage you to see a dermatologist for a definitive diagnosis and plan for treatment.  As you have mentioned in your question, it is very difficult to determine the type and extent of darkening in your picture; I would recommend an in-person evaluation.

Dornechia George Carter, MD
Dallas Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.