Melasma A Dermatologist’s Tips for Dealing With New Dark Patches or Freckling

Melasma A Dermatologist's Tips for Dealing With New Dark Patches or Freckling

Embracing Radiant Skin: Preventing and Managing Melasma


Melasma, those dark patches and freckle-like spots that can appear on the face, can be both prevented and made less noticeable. This is according to Dr. Rebecca Kazin, a renowned dermatologist based in Rockville, Md. She provides valuable insights on dealing with these patches which can be caused by sun exposure, pregnancy, stress, certain medications, and sometimes even a medical condition. While melasma may naturally fade away over time, it has been known to persist for years. However, fear not! Dr. Kazin and the American Academy of Dermatology have shared some effective tips to help you combat this common skin concern.

Understanding Melasma and Its Persistence

Melasma is a condition characterized by dark, freckle-like spots on the face. These patches are caused by the overactivity of melanocytes, the skin cells responsible for coloration. In individuals with darker complexions, melasma can be more noticeable due to the increased activity of melanocytes. Although melasma itself is not harmful, it often prompts people to seek treatment in order to address cosmetic concerns.

An Individualized Treatment Plan

To effectively manage melasma, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist. They can create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and concerns. The treatment options may vary depending on the severity and persistence of melasma. Different therapies, such as topical creams, light therapy, or chemical peels, may be utilized to achieve the desired results. By addressing each patient’s unique situation, a dermatologist can provide the most effective course of action.

Let the Sun Not Reign Over Your Skin

One of the key factors in preventing and managing melasma is protecting your skin from the sun. Here are some helpful tips recommended by Dr. Kazin and the American Academy of Dermatology:

  1. Seek shade when you are outdoors for extended periods.
  2. Wear sun-protective clothing such as lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-protected sunglasses.
  3. Choose clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) number on the label for enhanced protection.
  4. Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on all exposed skin, even on cloudy days.
  5. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, and more frequently if you have been swimming or sweating.
  6. Use tinted sunscreen to protect your skin from the visible light that can exacerbate melasma, particularly for individuals with darker skin tones. Opt for a tinted sunscreen that contains iron oxides and offers an SPF 30 or higher.
  7. Select gentle and fragrance-free skin care and makeup products to avoid skin irritation.
  8. Use makeup to cover up melasma until treatments take effect. This can help make the uneven skin tone less noticeable. Consult a dermatologist for guidance on the best makeup techniques.

Remember to Partner with a Dermatologist

While these measures can greatly contribute to managing melasma, it is important to remember that other conditions can also cause an uneven skin tone. For an accurate diagnosis and guidance tailored to your specific needs, it is crucial to partner with a board-certified dermatologist. They have the expertise to provide comprehensive care and ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment.



Melasma, those dark patches and freckle-like spots that can appear on the face, can be both prevented and made less noticeable. By adopting simple yet effective practices such as sun protection and consulting with a dermatologist, you can take control of your skin’s health and appearance. Embrace radiant skin and let your confidence shine through! Remember, your skin deserves to be nurtured and appreciated. So, join the fight against melasma and enjoy the journey to a more even skin tone.

For more information, please visit The U.S. National Library of Medicine.