Melasma Specialist

Purnima Sau, MD -  - Dermatologist

Silver Spring Dermatology

Purnima Sau, MD

Dermatologist & Dermatopathologist located in Silver Spring, MD

Many women are upset by the appearance of melasma patches on their face and skin. Although melasma may last a lifetime, Silver Spring Dermatology’s lead physician, Purnima Sau, MD, treats melasma patients in and around the Silver Spring, Maryland and Washington DC-metro area with medication, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels. If melasma is interfering with your life, call Silver Spring Dermatology or book an appointment online today.

Melasma Q & A

What is melasma?

Melasma is a common skin problem where brown, tan, or grey patches appear on your skin. This condition often affects your face, especially the following areas:

  • Forehead
  • Bridge of the nose
  • Cheeks
  • Chin
  • Above your upper lip

It’s also possible, but less common, for melasma to develop on other parts of the body that get significant sun exposure, such as your neck and forearms. Experts believe melasma is related to sun exposure.

The discolored patches melasma causes aren’t painful, and melasma doesn’t involve any painful symptoms. Nevertheless, many women choose treatment because of the way this condition affects their appearance, especially on the face.

Who gets melasma?

Women are more likely to get melasma than men. Most cases of this disease occur in women aged 20-50. Men make up only about 10% of melasma cases.

Experts believe this disease may be related to changes in hormones because it's more common in pregnant women and those taking birth control pills. When this skin condition occurs during pregnancy, melasma is also be called chloasma, or "the mask of pregnancy."

These factors may increase your risk of getting melasma:

  • Sun exposure
  • Darker skin
  • A family history of melasma
  • Hormonal changes
  • Using products that irritate your skin

How does a dermatologist treat melasma?

Dr. Sau diagnoses most cases of melasma by looking at your skin. Rarely, she may need to perform a small biopsy of the affected area to rule out any other skin conditions.

After confirming your melasma diagnosis, Dr. Sau discusses the treatment options with you. Prescription creams and medicines are the likely choices for treating your melasma. She also discusses ways to prevent melasma with proper sun protection and skin care.

Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Sau may recommend skin treatments, such as microdermabrasion or chemical peels to even out your skin tone. The doctors at Silver Spring Dermatology treat hyperpigmentation with DiamondTone microdermabrasion and Glytone Rejuvenating chemical peels. These cosmetic treatments are commonly combined with prescription medicines to treat your melasma.

If melasma is interfering with your appearance or ability to enjoy life, call Silver Spring Dermatology or book an appointment online to discuss your treatment options today.