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Melasma in Austin, TX

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What is Melasma?

Melasma, also known as chloasma, occurs when irregular patches of dark skin appear on the face or forearms. These tan or brown patches usually occur symmetrically on the forehead, nose, cheeks, or upper lip. The symmetry of melasma distinguishes it from other conditions that cause darkening of the skin. Melasma is a common condition and is found more often in women. It can be caused by sun damage, or by hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy. Those with darker skin types (including Hispanics, Indians, Middle-Easterners, and North Africans) are more prone to melasma than those with lighter complexions. Our board-certified Austin, TX team of dermatologists treat melasma every day. There are a number of treatments that can help reduce the visibility of this cosmetic condition.

Diagnosing Melasma

Our dermatologists can usually diagnose melasma based upon the appearance of your skin. We may want to examine your skin with a Wood’s lamp to help guide the treatment. In some cases, melasma can look like another skin condition. If this is the case, a skin biopsy may need to be taken during your visit.

How to Treat Melasma

There are several options for treating melasma. The first is a variety of topical creams, gels, or lotions that can be prescribed to help promote skin lightening. The second option for treating melasma includes dermapen, microdermabrasion, chemical peel or fractional laser. Other options, include Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, or IPL.  Unlike lasers, which use intense, focused light, IPL is intense broadband light. Thus, the recovery time is brief.   Improvements usually last for the length that the patient is practicing good sun protection and maintenance.

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If you suffer from melasma and are tired of trying to cover it up with makeup, or spending excess money on over-the-counter treatments that do not offer you the results you desire, we invite you to call our dermatology office and schedule a consultation. Melasma requires a unique diagnosis so that the right treatment can be offered for your skin type. In some cases, the wrong treatment (i.e. certain laser therapy) is applied, which can make the skin turn darker. Our dermatologists can accurately diagnose and treat melasma to provide you a great result.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.