Melasma | Treatment

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How is melasma treated?

Most people do not need treatment. Melasma may fade away slowly if you stop taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. If melasma appeared while you were pregnant, it may go away a few months after you have the baby.

If melasma doesn’t gradually fade, it can be treated. Your doctor will probably prescribe a cream that contains hydroquinone. Creams that combine hydroquinone with kojic acid, azelaic acid, tretinoin, corticosteroids or glycolic acid can also treat melasma. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a chemical peel, microdermabrasion or laser treatment to help lighten the dark patches.

It may take several months before you see the results of treatment. It’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations. It is also important to avoid being in the sun and to use sunscreen daily. Using sunscreen will help prevent melasma from returning.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

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

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