Manish H. Shah MD, FACS

Fellowship Trained Rhinoplasty Specialist

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Melasma / Hyperpigmentation in Denver, CO

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What is Melasma/Hyperpigmentation?

Melasma, also known as chloasma, happens when uneven patches of dark skin show up on the face or forearms. These tan or brown spots usually occur symmetrically around the forehead, cheeks, nose, or upper lip. The appearance of melasma sets it apart from other conditions that lead to dark patches on the skin. Melasma and hyperpigmentation are common conditions and are found more frequently in females. It can be caused by sun damage or by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy and menopause. Those with darker skin types are more inclined to melasma compared to those who have lighter complexions. Dr. Manish Shah and his aesthetic team treat melasma and hyperpigmentation regularly at Shah Aesthetic Surgery in Denver, CO where we provide a number of remedies that may help reduce the appearance of the cosmetic condition.

Causes of Melasma/Hyperpigmentation

The precise cause of melasma and hyperpigmentation remains unidentified. Experts feel that the dark spots in melasma could be triggered by various factors, including hormone fluctuations, family history of melasma, race, anti-seizure medications, and other medications that make the skin more susceptible to pigmentation after exposure to UV rays. Excess sunlight exposure is recognized as the main cause of melasma, especially in those with a genetic predisposition to this condition. Clinical studies have demonstrated that individuals typically develop melasma in the summer months when the sun is the most intense. In the winter, the hyperpigmentation tends to be less visible or lighter.

Symptoms of melasma

Melasma is recognized by discoloration or hyperpigmentation mostly in the facial areas. Three types of ordinary facial patterns have been recognized in individuals with melasma:

  • Centrofacial (center of the face) – hyperpigmentation amid the upper lip, nose, chin, forehead, and cheeks
  • Malar (cheekbones) – melasma patterns around the upper cheeks
  • Mandibular (jawbone) – hyperpigmentation along the jaw

Treatment Options

There are several choices for treating melasma and hyperpigmentation. First, there are a variety of topical creams, gels, or lotions that can be prescribed to help encourage skin lightening. Second, there are skin care treatments, such as microneedling and chemical peels. Another option is intense pulsed light therapy or IPL. Unlike lasers that use intense, concentrated light, IPL is intense broadband light, meaning the recovery time is brief. Improvements generally last when the individual implements good sun protection and upkeep.

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If you are affected by melasma and hyperpigmentation and are fed up with attempting to cover it with cosmetics, or if you spend extra money on over-the-counter remedies that don't give you the outcome you would like, we invite you to contact Shah Aesthetic Surgery to schedule an appointment. Melasma needs a specialized diagnosis so the ideal treatment can be provided. If the incorrect remedy is applied, the skin may become worse. Dr. Shah can accurately diagnose and treat melasma and hyperpigmentation to supply you with a wonderful outcome.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.