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What is melasma?

Melasma, is a common type of pigmentation that is caused by oestrogen – either from pregnancy, the pill, hormone replacement therapy or normal circulating oestrogens,  and is a difficult form of pigmentation to treat.

As a result, melasma mostly affects women. It is seen as large brown patches on the skin of the cheeks, upper lip, between the brows, or on the forehead. People who have darker skin are more prone to being affected. Melasma can never really be cured, but it can be treated to minimise its effect.

How is melasma treated?

The first steps of treating melasma include avoiding possible triggers, such as UV and the oral contraceptive pill. Using sunscreen and a skin lightening cream are the easiest first steps.

Gentle chemical peels may help speed the process of getting melasma under control, and may be supplemented with regular picosecond or fractionated CO2 laser sessions.

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