Melasma is a particularly stubborn type of chronic skin disorder that causes asymmetrical, blotchy, brownish pigmentation on the face. There is no cure for melasma, but there are treatments at Palo Alto Laser and Skin Care that can keep the discoloration to minimum therefore minimizing your stress about covering it on daily basis. Melasma is not dangerous, but it can lead to considerable embarrassment and distress. You may have heard melasma referred to as chloasma, but this term actually refers to green-toned skin, whereas melasma refers to brownish skin and is the preferred medical term.
The cause(s) of melasma is complex. All types of hyperpigmentation are caused by an overproduction of melanin by the pigment cells in your skin, or the melanocytes. This is true of melasma, brown spots, freckles, and moles. There is a genetic predisposition for melasma, with at least 33 percent of patients reporting that they have family members affected by melasma. It is a chronic condition for most people, though there are some melasma triggers that might cause it to only happen during certain life events—such as pregnancy. Melasma can be at the epidermal level, dermal level, or may be mixed, which is the most common presentation.