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Diseases of Pigment

Picture of Melasma

Picture of Melasma

Melasma:Pigmentation of the face, most commonly on the malar area (the upper cheek), bridge of nose, forehead, and upper lip, that occurs in half of women during pregnancy. Birth control pills can also cause melasma. However, hormone therapy after menopause does not cause the condition.

Melasma darkens from sun or any UV exposure. Sunscreens are essential. They should be broad spectrum. A SPF 30 or higher is best. A sunscreen should be worn daily, whether outside or inside. Treatment may also include bleaching creams and prescription creams. Melasma is also known as the "mask of pregnancy."

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Text: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary by MedicineNet, Inc.