Melasma is a common skin condition wherein it causes the formation of brown patches on the face. Most people get melasma patches on their forehead, chin, area above the upper lip and cheeks. It’s more common in women.

What Causes Melasma?

  1. Pregnancy

Also dubbed as chloasma or the mask of pregnancy, melasma is common among pregnant women. Hormonal changes that happen in the body often results in melasma formation. However, most of the patches disappear in the later months of pregnancy. For some women, it may last even after they have given birth.

During pregnancy, the body may experience increased estrogen, progesterone, and melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) production, especially during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. When this happens, there is an increased production of melanocytes, the cells in the skin that can develop pigment called melanin.



  1. Contraceptive Pills / Hormonal Medicines

Postmenopausal women who receive their progesterone hormone replacement therapy are at an increased risk of developing melasma. Also, women who take hormone treatments like oral contraceptive pills, implants, and intrauterine devices may also develop melasma.

oral contraceptive pill


  1. Too Much Exposure To The Sun

One of the most common reasons in the development of melasma is overexposure to the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. The ultraviolet rays stimulate the production of melanin. Thus, melanin patches worsen during summer. For other women, their condition comes back again and again. This is because even just a small amount of sun exposure can make the patches return even after fading.



  1. Medicines/Cosmetics/Skin Products

There are some cosmetic products that make melasma worse. This is because skin irritating chemicals in these products may worsen the condition. Hence, it is important to use gentle and hypoallergenic skin care products.

Moreover, some medications, including new ones used to treat cancer may worsen the appearance of melasma. Other products like deodorants, soaps and cosmetics may lead to a phototoxic reaction that triggers the formation of melasma.



Melasma Treatment

The treatment for melasma is divided into two: general measures and treatment options. For general measures, these are focused on removing causative agents of the skin condition. For instance, women who develop melasma may be advised by her dermatologist to discontinue hormonal contraception or products used that may contribute to the appearance of melasma.

Treatment options, on the other hand, are focused on eradicating melasma patches that have already formed on the skin. Topical treatments are often prescribed to reduce melasma patches and at the same time, prevent new pigment formation.   There are other types of melanin treatment including oral medications and laser therapy. You can get melasma help in Singapore through many skin clinics that offer treatments for this type of skin condition. Singapore is a tropical country and its hot temperature may lead to more women developing melasma.