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Ask the doctor: Melasma

Article-Ask the doctor: Melasma

Q: I've had brown splotches on my face since the summer. What are they, and what can I do?

Joel Schlessinger, M.D., F.A.A.D., F.A.A.C.S.
a: This condition, typically known as melasma, usually is due to a combination of sun exposure and hormones. It doesn't commonly resolve on its own. Therefore, a good start is to stop taking any hormones (birth control pills, etc.), if possible. Stay out of the sun and wear a good sunscreen. Peels and microdermabrasions can also help.

Products such as TriLuma can also improve the condition, and regimens such as those offered by Obagi and Vivier can help. All these products contain hydroquinone, which helps lighten the areas. Laser has been used as well.

See your dermatologist, as he or she will typically be able to perform most procedures listed here, or refer you to the appropriate individual.
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