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Melasma is a common skin problem. The condition causes dark, discolored patches on your skin.

It’s also called chloasma, or the “mask of pregnancy,” when it occurs in pregnant women. The condition is much more common in women than men, though men can get it too.

The patches are darker than your usual skin color. It typically occurs on the face and is symmetrical, with matching marks on both sides of the face.

Brownish colored patches usually appear on the:

  • cheeks

  • forehead

  • bridge of the nose

  • chin

It isn’t totally clear what causes melasma. Estrogen and progesterone sensitivity are also associated with the condition. This means birth control pills, pregnancy, and hormone therapy can all trigger melasma. Stress and thyroid disease are also thought to be causes of melasma. Additionally, sun exposure also can trigger melasma.

Treatment options are creams, chemical peels, microdermabrasion  and laser therapy.

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