Advice and answers from the Cortina Health Team

How can a board-certified dermatologist help with hyperpigmentation (melasma)?

Updated 2 months ago

The following information was obtained from the American Academy of Dermatology Association:

If you have discolored patches or freckle-like spots on your skin, seeing a dermatologist can help ease your mind. A board-certified dermatologist can tell you whether melasma (hyperpigmentation) or another condition is causing the skin discoloration.

If you have melasma (hyperpigmentation), a dermatologist can create an individualized treatment plan for you. Treatment usually begins with sun protection and creams that you apply to the melasma.

Many people who have a darker skin tone see a dermatologist for melasma treatment. In fact, treatment for melasma is one of the most common reasons that people who have a darker skin tone see a dermatologist.

Dermatologists understand that treating melasma in darker skin tones requires a different approach from treating melasma in lighter skin tones. For example, some melasma treatments can irritate darker skin, which can worsen melasma and make it darker.

Dermatologists know which precautions to take to prevent treatments from worsening melasma in darker skin tones. They also understand that it usually takes longer to see results from treatment if you have a dark skin tone.

It’s important to know that no matter your skin tone, melasma can be stubborn. Some people need a prescription strength-cream, procedure, or both.

If you use a non-prescription melasma treatment, dermatologists recommend using it for no longer than three to six months. If you don’t get the results you want by then, see a dermatologist for treatment.