- Dark skin patches
- Discolored skin
- Patches on the face
Having even-toned skin is desirable. But some people suffer from dark patches on the skin that seem to never go away. This can have a huge effect on the self-esteem of these patients. This skin condition is known as melasma and affects thousands of people every day. Find a treatment option that works for you with our team at Fargo Center for Dermatology.
Melasma is a common skin problem that occurs most commonly in pregnant women. Although, this skin condition also affects men, about 90% of people with melasma are women. This condition is characterized by dark, discolored patches of skin. The patches of skin typically occur on the face and are symmetrical, meaning there are matching marks on both sides. The dark patches appear most often on areas like the:
Melasma can also occur on the neck, forearms, and shoulders. While this skin condition is not harmful, it can cause people to feel self-conscious.
Researchers do not fully understand what causes melasma. It is tied to individuals with darker skin tones than lighter tones. Changes in hormones like estrogen and progesterone have been linked to the cause of melasma. Another potential cause of melasma is excessive sun exposure. This is shown due to the areas where melasma occurs most often such as the face, forearms, and shoulders. To get a proper diagnosis and treatment started, patients should seek out the care of a professional dermatologist such as the staff at Fargo Center for Dermatology.
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To get a melasma diagnosis, a visual examination from a dermatologist should be done. Sometimes, our team may want to perform small tests in order to rule out other causes of the patches. For some women, the melasma may disappear on its own. This is usually when it is caused by hormonal changes. However, this skin condition can last for years and years if no treatment is used. Our team at Fargo Center for Dermatology has a range of topical treatments and other treatments available for melasma. These include:
- Corticosteroids and Tretinoin
- Laser Therapy
- Light Therapy
Our specialists at Fargo Center for Dermatology can recommend the best treatment for each patient based on their symptoms, causes, skin type, and lifestyle.
For patients who have had melasma, it is important to continue at-home treatments after leaving the Fargo office. Some good practices are avoiding sun exposure, wearing sunscreen daily, and using a topical treatment daily. Dr. Ness and our staff will go over any skin necessities to prevent future symptoms. We can also recommend any of our in-house products.
Melasma is not a harmful skin condition but can leave you feeling embarrassed by the appearance of these dark patches. To help resolve this for you and have your smooth, even-toned skin back, contact our team at Fargo Center for Dermatology. Dr. Ness and our staff can help to treat your melasma and give you long-lasting solutions. To schedule a consultation, fill out our online form or call our office.