What Causes Melasma Patches to Appear on the Face?

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If you’ve started to notice spots on your skin, you’re not alone. Sun damage, age, melasma, and more can cause skin discolorations on the face and body, and impact many people. While these spots are often not harmful, they can be embarrassing and unsightly. Whether it’s from years out in the sun, age spots, or something else, experienced board-certified general surgeon Dr. Matthew Lynch can help Peoria, AZ men and women diagnose the exact cause of their hyperpigmentation spots at Lynch Vein & Aesthetics so he can help them receive effective treatment and create a more even skin tone.

Understanding the root of the skin discoloration is key to being able to address the issue. During a one-on-one consultation, Dr. Lynch will take the time to answer patients' questions regarding hyperpigmentation spots, melasma dark spots, and what causes melasma on the face. He will also review melasma treatment options. At Lynch Vein & Aesthetics, Dr. Lynch is ready to help you feel great in your skin.

What is melasma?

It can be hard for men and women to tell what their skin spots are caused by. Many will assume it’s either from the sun or just the natural aging process. Dr. Lynch can distinguish melasma from other skin discoloration based on the pattern the hyperpigmentation spots make. Melasma is often indicated by the symmetry the spots make. These symmetrical spots often form three different patterns: centrofacial, malar, and mandibular.

  • Centrofacial melasma: This is most often found on the cheeks, upper lip, nose, chin, and forehead.
  • Malar melasma: This is often found on the top of the cheekbones and is sometimes referred to as “butterfly” melasma because it’s often identified by creating the same pattern in the same spot of each cheek.
  • Mandibular melasma: This type of melasma is often found on the lower part of the cheek and underside of the jawline.

What causes melasma on face?

While the exact cause of melasma is not known, there are a few ideas behind what can trigger melasma. Certain medications, hormonal imbalances (like during pregnancy or menopause), overexposure to the sun, stress, and thyroid disease are all thought to cause flareups of melasma. It’s also believed that those with darker skin are more prone to melasma than those with fair skin.

How do you treat melasma?

Dr. Lynch will start melasma treatment of his Peoria, AZ patients by identifying that the hyperpigmentation spots are, in fact, melasma. He’ll determine this by reviewing your medical records, current medications, and your family’s medical history. Based on this information, he will be able to tell if these spots are from melasma or another pigmentation issue. From there, several treatment options are available, including:

  • Medications
  • Topical ointments
  • Light-based laser (Harmony XL PRO) therapy

These options, as well as avoiding sun exposure, are effective ways to prevent and reduce the appearance of melasma. We encourage all of our patients, especially those with skin pigmentation issues, to make sure they are wearing sunscreen when they are outside since this is an important component to keeping skin healthy and glowing.

If you have discoloration on your face and are sick of covering it up with makeup or haven’t found an over-the-counter solution, we encourage you to contact board-certified general surgeon Dr. Matthew Lynch at Lynch Vein & Aesthetics. He can help you diagnose and treat your hyperpigmentation spots so you can feel great in your skin.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.