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Melasma and Other Pigmentation Problems

Melasma and Other Pigmentation Problems

Cutting edge understanding, prevention, treatment, and maintenance

Melasma is also known as “pregnancy mask”. However, it can affect men and women who aren’t pregnant. It is a common skin condition of adult women, in which brown or greyish patches of pigmentation (color) develop, usually on the face.

Melasma, like other pigmentation problems, is complex and can be difficult to treat. It is caused by imbalances and disorders of the skin, producing more or less color, and can result in blotches.

Melasma can be challenging to get rid of and can be a chronic condition, coming back after treatment, unless it is treated holistically.

Melasma can be superficial (easy to treat), deep and mixed (difficult to treat).

What causes melasma & other pigmentation problems (darkening or lightening of the skin)?

It is complex and can involve more than one triggering factor. This contributes to the difficulty in treating the condition.

Known triggering factors include:

– Sun exposure, even if it is cloudy or during winter. Sun damage is the most important avoidable risk factor. Unfortunately, normal sun cream does not work for everyone.

– Blue light emitted from light bulbs, computer screens, and other electronic devices. This is commonly missed as a cause and will need special sun cream to help.

– Pregnancy. In these cases, the pigment often fades a few months after delivery

– Hormone treatments including oral contraceptive pills containing estrogen and progesterone, hormone replacement, intrauterine devices, and implants. These are a factor in about a quarter of affected women

– Certain skincare products such as scented or deodorant soaps, toiletries, and cosmetics. These may cause melasma that persists long term.

– Cosmetic treatment such as peels, laser treatments, etc

– Vascular problems, redness, dry skin, irritation and inflammation of the skin can later lead to pigmentation

– Heat

– Friction and irritation

– Genetic factors

– Skin and medical problems

The treatment plans should include understanding, prevention, treatment, and maintenance.

  • Prevention includes:

– Understanding the cause or causes

– Applying special sun cream year-round and sometimes indoors


  • Remove areas of excess pigmentation that have already appeared.
  • Reduce the production of pigment. However, without maintenance, it can recur in 3 months.

Available treatment at Alternatives clinic

General measures

  • Cosmetic camouflage (cosmetic concealer) is invaluable in disguising the pigmentation. It can be considered as a quick fix while waiting for the other measures to work.

To the developer, we need a link to the camouflage page.

  • Using sun creams for all aspects of light (visible, invisible, and from electronic devices) all year round. Contact alternatives clinic for more information
  • Lifelong, year-round sun protection including a broad-brimmed hat and wide sunglasses.
  • Mild cleansers
  • Using a light moisturizer and taking a vitamin D supplement if the skin is dry

Topical treatment

The aim is to prevent new pigmentation and lighten the old pigmentation.

  • We have a prescription medication that our dermatologist can recommend. It can contain 3 different active ingredients and is considered one of the most successful combinations for pigmentation.
  • Good quality cosmetic/medical grade products which our team can advise on
  • Peels

Tablets for melasma

Tranexamic acid tablets at a low dose can help. But, the patient should be carefully selected and at a low risk of thromboembolic disease (developing clots in the blood vessels). Please see your GP before considering it.

Devices and machines

  • Lasers
  • Micro-needling


Melasma can be treated, but it needs a combination treatment of the above to suit your individual need. Also, results may take time

When ready, please call Alternatives Clinic on 01908 526524 and book your appointment


Consultation with one of our expert team is free for topical treatments. 

Consultation with Dr. Zeina is £120 for the consultation and a treatment plan.