Treatments for Melasma

While it can happen to anyone, melasma is most common in expectant mothers. This blotchy brown discoloration of the skin can mar an otherwise wonderful time in a woman's life. But treatments for melasma exist. Our Orlando dermatology practice offers multiple options to help restore evenness to your complexion.


Melasma is a common skin condition involving brown patches on the face - most commonly seen on the forehead, bridge of the nose and chin but also appearing on the forearms and neck. It is more common in women, especially during pregnancy. In fact, it's often referred to as the "mask of pregnancy". Causes of melasma are thought to be hormone-related, possibly genetic, more common on darker skin tones and made worse by sunlight - which makes it a concern here in sunny Orlando.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs of melasma are dark blotchy patches of skin on the face, arms or neck. There are no physical symptoms of melasma but many people are concerned about how patches look on their skin. The patches can become darker with repeated sun exposure.

Melasma Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is made by clinical examination and patient history. Sometimes melasma can fade without treatment, which is often the case at the end of pregnancy or when discontinuing use of medications that affect hormones, such as birth control pills. In general over the counter cosmetics rarely are strong enough to treat melasma. Home remedy treatments can also be ineffective or even damaging to the skin. Therefore it is best treated professionally at our Orlando dermatology practice.

Treatments for melasma include topical creams such as prescription lightening agents. Sometimes, tretinoin or steroid creams are prescribed to enhance skin lightening. Depending on your specific needs, chemical peels such as TCA peels administered by our paramedical esthetician. Laser treatments can be introduced to your personalized treatment plan in conjunction with or in place of your topical skin care regimen to optimize results. Neither chemical peels nor laser treatments are covered by medical insurance. However our practice offers multiple payment options.

In conjunction with the recommended treatment options, our practice also offers STEPPIE MD®Dermaceuticals in the Light Intensive Pigment Corrector. Typically applied twice daily, this product contains a high concentration of Axolight, a patented, certified organic brightening complex. It's clinically proven to be save and gentle, yet strong enough to act even faster than Arbutine (another powerful and popular skin brightener). Acting in synergy with kojic acid and other natural skin brighteners, it's proven effective in helping to inhibit melanin production while promoting a more even and flawless skin tone. Volunteers reported seeing improvements in just 28 days, and 91% of those volunteers noticed brown spots fade away significantly in 56 days. 
*Efficacy evaluated on a panel of 22 volunteers - 2x/day application.

Follow up and Outcomes

It can take several months for improvements to be seen and sometimes, the skin can become irritated with treatment. Prevention and daily maintenance of melasma treatment involves wearing sunscreen containing zinc or titanium oxide.

We recommend using STEPPIE MD® Antioxidant Sunscreen spray SPF 25. It provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays via an FDA approved physical blocker, Zinc Oxide, which reflects light away from the skin, and contains no chemical sun fillers.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided by this site is intended solely for educational purposes. This information is not to be used for medical diagnostic purposes and is not intended to serve as a recommendation for treatment and/or management of any medical/surgical condition. Most of all, this information should not be used in place of a physician or other qualified health provider. If you believe you have a medical condition, please contact your physician immediately.

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