Melasma, also known as chloasma, occurs when irregular patches of dark skin appear on the face or forearms. These tan or brown patches normally occur symmetrically around the forehead, nose, cheeks, or upper lip. The symmetry of melasma distinguishes it from other conditions that cause darkening of the skin. Melasma is a common condition and is found more often in women. It can be caused by sun damage or by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy and menopause. Individuals with darker skin types are more inclined to melasma than those with lighter complexions. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Eric Wilkerson treats melasma regularly at Fort Lauderdale Dermatology in Fort Lauderdale, FL where we offer several treatments that can lessen the visibility of this cosmetic condition.
"I’ve seen Dr. Wilkerson three times now and have never felt like it’s been a rushed visit like other dermatologists I’ve been to. He’s been able to drastically improve skin issues that I’ve dealt with for years. Very clean and professional practice."- M.H. / Google / Nov 13, 2019
"Dr Wilkerson was referred to me by my primary care physician and I am very thankful he was. After being in a trauma accident sustaining multiple wounds, I encountered a rash and irritation around them. I could not afford to get any infection while healing all my injuries. Dr Wilkerson and his assistant Jackie were friendly and gentle. They asked many questions and thoroughly examined the injury site. The doctor’s level of care was exceptional and he took his time to answer all my questions patiently. His treatment plan ‘cured’ my issue and I look forward to my follow up appointment. Jackie was courteous and gracious enough to call me a week after my appointment to follow up and see how I was feeling and how my recovery was progressing."- S.D. / Google / Oct 12, 2019
"Each time I visit the offices of Ft. Lauderdale, I feel compelled to write a great review. Once is never enough. Dr. Wilkerson and his Medical Assistant, Jackie provide the most caring, thoughtful and most important, knowledgeable treatment one could want. The office is clean, the doctor is very well trained and as a bonus, one never gets the feeling of being rushed. I wish all the other doctors I have seen over the years, dermatologist or not were as caring and just plain nice. And as a bonus, even in these terrible Covid times Jackie has been known to provide a glass of water or a cup of coffee, unheard of in most physician's offices today Once again, if I could give them more than five stars, I would double them."- J.F. / Google / May 18, 2021
"Great Dermatology office! Not only were they prompt with contacting me after my initial appointment request, ( unlike multiple other places that I have STILL yet to hear back from ) they got me in within a couple weeks, all through e-mail and texts, which is always my preferred method of contact. Dr. Wilkerson was very nice, calming and informative during my skin cancer screening and I'm glad my PCP suggested this office. Will definitely be recommending to family and friends in the future if the need arises."- T.S. / Google / May 12, 2021
"Great Doctor, great assistant. In my unfortunately many years of treatment for skin cancers I have seen several doctors, some good, some not so."- J.H. / Facebook / Apr 27, 2021
The specific cause of melasma remains unknown. Experts think that the dark patches in melasma might be triggered by various factors, including hormone fluctuations, family history of melasma, race, anti-seizure medications, and other medications that make the skin more susceptible to pigmentation after exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Uncontrolled sunlight exposure is recognized as the primary cause of melasma, especially in those with a genetic predisposition to this condition. Clinical studies have demonstrated that individuals generally develop melasma in the summer months when the sun is most intense. In the winter, the hyperpigmentation tends to be less visible or lighter.
Melasma is characterized by the discoloration or hyperpigmentation mainly on the face. Three kinds of common facial patterns are identified in individuals with melasma:
- Centrofacial – (center of the face) hyperpigmentation around the nose, chin, forehead, cheeks, and upper lip
- Malar – (cheekbones) melasma patterns around the upper cheeks
- Mandibular – (jawbone) hyperpigmentation along the jaw
There are numerous possibilities for treating melasma. First, there are a variety of topical creams, gels, or lotions that may be recommended to help expedite skin lightening. Second, there are dermatology procedures, such as the dermapen, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or fractional lasers. Another solution is intense pulsed light therapy or IPL. Unlike lasers that use intense, focused light, IPL is intense broadband light so the recovery time is brief. Improvements generally last when the patient implements good sun protection and maintenance.
Get a Professional Diagnosis
If you suffer from melasma and are tired of trying to cover it with makeup, or if you spend money on over-the-counter treatments that do not offer you the results you desire, we welcome you to call Fort Lauderdale Dermatology to schedule a consultation with skilled dermatologist Dr. Eric Wilkerson. Melasma requires a special diagnosis so the ideal treatment can be given. If the wrong treatment is applied, the skin might become darker. Dr. Wilkerson can accurately diagnose and treat melasma to provide you with a wonderful result.