The Link Between Hormones and Melasma

Melasma Blog Cover

Pregnancy isn’t the only time you could find yourself dealing with gray or brown spots of hyperpigmentation on your skin, but it is one of the most common times to develop this skin condition. Known as melasma generally, during pregnancy the condition is also called chloasma. You may have heard it called “the mask of pregnancy.”

Melasma shows up during pregnancy because of the connection believed to exist between this skin pigmentation problem and your hormones. At Apex Dermatology, you can trust us to treat your skin concerns, even at delicate times of your life like a pregnancy.

From the state-of-the-art office in Westlake Village, California, Dr. Karin Harp, MD, FAAD, FASDS, Dr. Aria Vazirnia MD, MAS, FAAD, Kristin Rupert PA-C, Mary Hanna MSN, NP-BC, Riley McCarthy RN, Lani Keene LE, Kailey Jones LE, and the Apex Dermatology team can help you understand hormone-related changes in your skin, and restore your skin to clarity and evenness.

Causes of melasma

Science is still learning about the causes of the skin discoloration that results from melasma. The condition does appear to be closely connected to hormonal changes, as around half of all melasma patients start to experience the onset of issues during pregnancy.

You can also develop melasma as a result of using hormonal birth control, another indicator of the link between melasma and hormonal changes. Melasma occurs for about 10-25% of hormonal birth control users. And, thyroid disorders that disrupt normal hormone production significantly increase your risk of melasma.

Women of reproductive age have a heightened risk of developing melasma, as do people with darker skin shades. In addition, you’re more likely to develop melasma on areas of your skin, like your face and hands, that are frequently exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, so hormones aren't the only factor at work when it comes to this condition.

Clearing your skin

For most people who develop melasma due to pregnancy, discoloration fades on its own as your hormones level back out. If your melasma problems are related to hormonal contraception, you might want to switch to non-hormonal alternatives. 

But for some, melasma can be a lasting issue. You might also not want to discontinue hormonal medications, meaning that you need a different strategy.

No matter whether your melasma is related to pregnancy, birth control, UV exposure, or just genetics, Dr. Harp and the Apex Dermatology team are here to clear and restore your skin. We have options for all skin colors and skin types.

You may be interested in chemical peel, microdermabrasion, or dermabrasion treatments to resurface your skin and remove signs of melasma. The Apex Dermatology team can also recommend prescription medications including hydroquinone, tretinoin, and corticosteroids, or azelaic or kojic acid to lighten dark spots and restore your skin.

You also have laser and light therapy treatment options to resolve hyperpigmentation and even out your skin tone.

For support with gray or dark spots related to melasma, get in touch with Apex Dermatology and schedule an appointment online or over the phone today. 

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