Melasma is a common skin condition causing brown to gray-brown patches and usually appears on the face. Most melasma occurs in women; only 10% of those affected are men. People with darker skin tend to have melasma more than others. What causes melasma is unknown. Often, the following will trigger melasma: Pregnancy, birth control pills, cosmetics, hormone therapy, anti-seizure medication and sun exposure.

Treatment: Sometimes melasma fades on its own. This is especially true after a pregnancy or when a woman stops taking birth control pills. A variety of prescription creams are available to treat melasma, however, many are not covered by insurance. The treatment of melasma often requires a comprehensive and professional approach. Being under the care of a dermatologist helps many people achieve a successful outcome.