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Clinical Overview

Melasma is a dark skin discoloration of the face. Aside from discoloration, there are no other symptoms. This condition is more prevalent in pregnant women or women taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. Female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone can stimulate the pigment-producing cells called melanocytes, producing more melanin pigments with the skin’s exposure to the sun. Other factors that may contribute to the cause of Melasma are genetics, thyroid disease, stress, and allergic reaction to medications and cosmetics.

Reviewed by: Michael Fuller, MD

Last updated: Nov-17-08

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