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The medical term for melasma is “chloasma,” and the condition is also referred to as a “pregnancy mask.” During pregnancy, many women develop tan or brown patches on their faces. In most cases, the discoloration disappears after childbirth, but some women are left with the patches of grey-brown skin on their faces. Sun exposure can worsen the condition.

How Do I Know If I Have Melasma?

Melasma typically causes brown-grey patches on your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, forehead, chin, upper lip area, and other areas that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the forearms and neck. Melasma does not cause any additional symptoms, but many people simply do not like the cosmetic effect of the condition.

What Causes Melasma?

The causes for melasma are unknown, but certain populations are at greater risk for the condition. Hormonal changes trigger melasma, which is why the condition is common among pregnant women, but anyone who is exposed to the sun is at risk. Men account for only 10% of those who have melasma. People with darker skin are also at greater risk for melasma.