Melasma can be frustrating and highly visible. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our team can help you achieve clear skin with a variety of treatment options.

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a skin condition that manifests as brownish blotches on the face. It’s sometimes called chloasma, or the “mask of pregnancy.” Melasma overwhelmingly affects women (as much as 90% of melasma patients are women) and most commonly occurs during pregnancy because of hormone levels. Melasma is usually temporary, but some people have melasma long-term.

Symptoms of Melasma

Melasma looks like brownish patches of coloration on your face. It usually occurs in areas like:

  • Cheeks
  • Forehead
  • Nose (bridge)
  • Chin

It typically occurs symmetrically on both sides of the face. It can also occur in areas of the body. Melasma doesn’t usually cause any other symptoms and is harmless, but it can impact your confidence.

What Causes Melasma?

The specific mechanisms of melasma aren’t completely understood. At a cellular level, melasma is caused by pigment cells in the skin (melanocytes) becoming more active. This causes an overgrowth of pigmentation. Melasma is most commonly caused by hormone fluctuations, which is why it’s more likely to impact pregnant women. However, it can also be caused by sun damage, stress, or medications (or worsened by these factors).


How to Maximize Prevention and Repair the Damage

Dr. Cope is the author of Sun Proof: A Practical Guide for Sun-Damaged Skin. How to Maximize Prevention and Repair the Damage. In it, Dr. Cope details easy and accessible steps for improving your skin and reversing the harmful effects of sun exposure. Using the latest and most scientifically-backed studies on sun damage, Dr. Cope has created a guide to achieving healthier, more radiant skin with the best tips, tricks, and tools available.


What Are My Treatment Options for Melasma?

In cases like pregnancy or medication use, melasma is temporary and can subside on its own. Other times, it doesn’t subside and causes cosmetic concerns. There are a few different options available for reducing pigmentation and preventing further sun damage, including:

  • Sun Protection
  • Vitamin C Serums
  • Retinol
  • Microneedling
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma

You may get results with a combination of treatment options, and our team can help you create a personalized package for your goals.

Maintaining Healthy Skin with Melasma

The best way to take care of your skin with melasma is by preventing sun damage. Sun exposure and tanning beds can worsen melasma and cause the growth of new pigment cells, so make sure to wear SPF 30+ daily and stop tanning immediately. For best results, you may need ongoing treatment and our team will ensure you know what to expect from your treatment schedule. Our skincare specialists can also develop an at-home regimen to support your results and keep away pigmentation.


Dr. Austin Cope is a Utah native as well as a highly educated and well-trained cosmetic dermatologist. At Cope Cosmetic Dermatology, our team is here to help you look and feel your best.


Dr. Cope can help you achieve a new level of confidence with aesthetic experience and a laid-back approach. To learn more, contact us through our online form or give us a call.

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