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Melasma or mask of pregnancy is a chronic skin disorder that causes brown facial pigmentation.  It occurs in women more than men and does have a genetic predisposition occurring in one-third of patients with a family history.  The brown pigmentation occurs because of increased pigment in the skin.   There are well-known triggers.   Sun and heat are big triggers.   It occurs in pregnant patients (usually 2nd or 3rd  trimestero and in patients taking hormones such as birth control pills and hormone replacement.  In patients that develop it during pregnancy a lot of the pigment fades several months after delivery. There are effective treatments.  Avoidance of sun and heat is important for clearance to occur.  Good -quality sunblocks must be used.  Even after pregnancy or after hormone treatments are stopped melisma can still be persist.  Topical treatments include bleaching creams such as hydroquinone, tretinoin, combinations of hydroquinone and tretinoin, azeleic acid, salicylic acid, and topical alpha hydroxyacids such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. Chemical peels and melasma laser treatment can also be helpful. Treatment can be a slow process and can take multiple months.  Unfortunately, melasma can recur with re-exposure to sun/heat. Dr. Marie being a highly recommended dermatologist in New York devises a proper treatment plan that is tailored according to your condition.

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