Melasma (also known as Chloasma or the mask of pregnancy) appears as brown patches on the face, commonly on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, upper lip and chin.
Melasma is caused by hormonal changes, sun exposure and genetic predisposition. Hormone changes include external hormones such as the oral contraceptive pill or internal hormones changes due to pregnancy, polycystic ovaries (PCOS) and the menopause. It is more common in women aged 20 to 50 years but can also occasionally affect men. Women with olive or darker skin tones are more prone to Melasma. It is more pronounced in the summer.
There is no cure, but there are non-surgical procedures to help the appearance of skin discolouration.