Is hyperpigmentation and Melasma the same thing? (photos)

After returning home from vacation in March 2015 I went to my family Dr regarding dry patch on forehead I tried using cream which wasn't working well and started to panic so I used a towel and exfoliating cream and continuous rubbed spot until it became red and very irritated at that point I left it alone in February 2016 after vacation I noticed that area looked a bit darker again family Dr says hyper pigmentation dermatologist says melasma. Did I cause melasma by irrating area

Doctor Answers 2

Melasma vs hyper pigmentation

Hard to give an accurate answer without a close up examination and further history taking. I am leaning towards hyperpigmenation rather than melasma. Treatment is very similar, the mainstay is strict sun protection. 

I prefer to use a combination of creams and laser for melasma- PIH. Hydroquinone can be used (5-8%), along with vitamin A creams. I usually start my patients on laser (low dose Q switch or Picosure) a few weeks after they commence on creams.

In some cases I combine glycolic AHA peels. 

More information on available treatments in the Web Reference below.
All the best,

Dr Davin Lim
Laser, surgical and aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia


Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Hyperpigmentation versus Melasma - NYC

Without an in person consultation it is impossible to give you a definitive answer.  However, from the account of the story and your photo it looks more like hyperpigmentaion.  Please consult a board certified dermatologist who has experience with cosmetic procedures for the best treatment options.  Best, Dr. Green

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.