Melasma on the Neck?

I am a 50-year-old fair-skinned female and over the last three years I've developed light brown discoloration on the sides of my neck. I've never had any type of brown discoloration on my face other than freckles. I do have rosacea which was successfully treated with IPL. Is it possible to develop melasma for the first time in the mid-forties and to develop it only on the neck?

Doctor Answers 2

Poikiloderma of Civatte and acanthosis nigricans more likely than melasma on the neck

Thank you for your question BrTsr. Melasma is a common condition characterized by the appearance of dark patches on the skin. Commonly affected areas include the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip, as these areas have high levels of sun exposure. The neck is an uncommon area to be affected with melasma. Poikiloderma if Civatte and acanthosis nigricans are more common on the neck. Please consult with a doctor for specific recommendations. Good luck!

Encino Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Melasma vs poikiloderma on neck

Yes it is possible. You may also have another condition called poikiloderma (usually a little red with brown). A photo will be helpful. Melasma can not be completely cured, however effective treatment are possible. This is because your skin is extremely sensitive to UV and even the smallest amount can stimulate your pigment cells to produce colour. The mainstay of treatment is strict UV protection- hats, sunglasses and SPF every 4 hours. I prefer to use a combination of creams and laser for melasma. 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, and in other cases I use a tablet called Tranexamic acid to help. All the best, Dr Davin Lim Laser, surgical and aesthetic dermatologist Brisbane, Australia

Davin Lim, MBBS, FACD
Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

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.