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Melasma also known as chloasma or the “mask of pregnancy”, is commonly seen in women of childbearing age.

Melasma appears as blotches of pigmentation on the upper lip, nose, cheeks, chin, forehead and neck. It can be quite distressing.

It is a chronic disorder. In the epidermal form, pigmentation is located superficially and appears as patches of light to dark brown and even black pigmentation . It is usually easier to treat because the excess pigment is close to surface and can be reached more successfully by topical products. The Dermal form exhibits pigment located deeper in the dermis of the skin. This form appears as blue/grey pigment patches. It is more difficult and often resistant to treatment. Targeted treatments that are able to penetrate deeper such as lasers are often required. A mixed form of epidermal (superficial) and dermal(deep) forms of melisma also exists.

The cause of this pigmentation is unknown however it is associated with hormonal changes, UV exposure, medications, pregnancy, the oral contraceptive pill and stress. Other possible causes include a genetic predisposition, nutrition and vitamin deficiencies and heat exposure. It is most commonly seen in areas of sun exposure and in women of darker skin types. Estrogen and UV radiation are the most significant causes. Melasma can rarely occur in men.

This is a frustrating and difficult condition to treat. Successful treatment requires a realistic gentle approach and patience.

Sunscreen use and the avoidance of UV exposure are mandatory. This will reduce further pigment production. This should include wearing a hat and avoiding heat.

Treatments include:-

Melasma is a complex and often mysterious problem and the causes and correct treatments needed vary between individuals. The incorrect treatment may make the problem worse or cause recurrence. The team at Le Sands Clinic are skilled in the assessment and management of skin pigmentation. Allow us to design an individualised programme to help you achieve your goal of clear skin into the future.Contact the clinic for an initial free consultation with one of our skin care experts. Call 02 9567 0399 or email us

Call us on 02 9567 0399 or e-mail us on

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