If you have patches of dark or discolored skin, you may have a condition known as “melasma.” Patients in the Greater Columbus area rely on the expertise of board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham to understand the condition and receive appropriate treatment.
Also known as “chloasma,” melasma is a skin condition that causes patches of discolored or dark skin. When pregnant women have melasma, it is commonly referred to as the “mask of pregnancy.” Women account for 90 percent of the cases.The darkened areas of skin typically appear in a symmetrical pattern on both sides of the face, but it can develop on other areas of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun, such as the forearms and neck. Melasma is most often noted on the:
From a medical standpoint, melasma is not harmful and does not require treatment. Men and women with melasma typically pursue treatment for cosmetic reasons.
As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hicks-Graham is uniquely qualified to provide safe and effective treatments for melasma. The overall goal is to lighten the affected skin by controlling the amount of melanin in new developing skin cells. She may recommend:
Melasma treatment can take some time as the condition is treated by replacing darker skin cells with new skin cells that more closely match your natural skin. As such, you will see a gradual improvement in the color of the skin.
If the areas affected by melasma darken before you receive treatment, it may take more time to lighten the area. In order to provide you with the best possible results in the fewest number of treatments, we recommend that you limit the time you spend outdoors and always protect your skin with a good sunscreen.
Laser treatments and chemical peels do have a small amount of recovery that takes two to three days. Your skin may look red and may feel irritated. Your skin will be especially sensitive after these treatments, so we recommend that you stay out of the sun until you are fully healed.
Melasma treatment may be covered by your medical insurance. You are responsible for any balance that is not covered, which may include the full cost of treatment or a portion. Payment is expected at the time of treatment. We accept cash, checks, major credit cards and CareCredit® financing.
Dark patches on your skin may be related to melasma or another skin condition. To be sure about the changes in your skin, we recommend that you meet with Dr. Hicks-Graham for a consultation.
As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Hicks-Graham is able to properly diagnose and treat the dark patches of skin that are caused by melasma. Although the condition is primarily cosmetic in nature, many people in the Greater Columbus area prefer to seek treatment to feel more confident about themselves.The dark patches that are caused by melasma can be embarrassing, especially if the patches are on your face. Although an exact cause is not known, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Hicks-Graham of Downtown Dermatology can recommend safe and effective treatment options.