Melasma | Causes & Risk Factors

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Who gets melasma?

Anyone can get melasma, but it is more common among young women. Melasma often appears during pregnancy, in the second or third trimesters. It is sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy.”

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes melasma, but the condition is associated with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. People who take birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy and certain drugs are at higher risk of developing melasma.

Melasma is also common in people who live in tropical climates. Being out in the sun for too long and too often puts you at risk for this condition. People who have darker skin are also more likely to get it.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/11
Created: 11/09

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