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
"I absolutely recommend this place! The Dr. and staff are always friendly and knowledgeable. My favorite part is that they do virtual appointments!"- T.C. / Google / Feb 12, 2021
"Best experience at a doctors office! The office is clean beautiful and inviting with relaxing music. No waiting, was taken in right away. Dr. Wilkerson was kind, professional, extremely knowledgeable and answered all my questions. Jackie was so sweet and helpful. They even offer you water. Lovely office!"- E.A. / Google / Feb 11, 2021
"As a physician myself, I can tell you that Dr. Wilkinson is extremely professional, knowledgeable, and extraordinarily pleasant. I highly recommend him. I will be referring many patients to him."- M.M. / Google / Jan 24, 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.