Is it possible for melasma to never reappear once it has faded?

Doctor Answers 4

Melarase and skin lightening for melasma

For our patients, we advise early application of Melarase creams for melasma; followed by a maintenance program that can act to control melasma thereafter. 

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Understanding Melasma

Melasma is a common skin condition and usually appears on the face, cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, chin and upper lip in dark patches. Most Melasma occurs in women, but 10% of those affected are men. People with darker skin tones including Latin, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and North African descent tend to have Melasma more than others.

The cause is unknown but pregnancy, birth control pills, cosmetics, hormone therapy, and sun exposure often trigger Melasma. The more pigmentation your skin has the more melanocytes you have. Production of melanocytes is increased when the skin is irritated or exposed to rising hormones and the sun. In fact, even a small amount of sun exposure is the main reason Melasma returns after fading.

Once your Melasma has faded, it is possible for it to “reappear” depending on your triggers.
For best protection from new pigmentation; try to stay out of the sun between 10-3 and wear a hat if you do. A topical anti-oxidant (like vitamin C) and sunblock of SPF 50 should be worn daily and a lightening/bleaching cream should be used nightly.

Consult with a Board Certified Dermatologist to see what is best for your skin.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Melasma and prevention of recurrence

The best way to prevent recurrence of melasma is proper sun protection.  Complete sun protection with SPF and a hat at all times is essential to prevent recurrence of Melasma.  Treatment consists of Cosmelan or chemical peels with hydroquinones for the best results.  Please find a board certified dermatologist to consult on skin care for the best cosmetic results.

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Can Melasma go away forever with proper treatment?

Melasma is a condition that reappears if treatment isn't maintained, and proper sunscreen isn't worn. There are options like the ViPeel and Cosmelan that help break up a lot of melasma. Sometimes these need to be repeated. Additionally proper skin care and daily sunscreen is an absolute must!

"This answer has been solicited without seeing this patient and cannot be held as true medical advice, but only opinion. Seek in-person treatment with a trained medical professional for appropriate care."

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.