Melasma is a common skin condition that causes brown or gray-brown patches on the face, particularly on the cheeks, forehead, nose, and upper lip. The condition is most common in women and those with darker skin tones, but it can affect anyone.
The exact cause of melasma is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to a combination of factors, including genetics, hormonal changes, and exposure to sunlight. Hormonal changes such as those that occur during pregnancy or with the use of birth control pills can trigger melasma in some women.
Melasma is not a harmful condition, but it can be distressing for those who experience it, as it can be difficult to conceal with makeup and can affect a person's self-confidence. Treatment options include topical creams, chemical peels, and laser therapy, but the condition can be difficult to treat and may recur even after successful treatment. Sun protection, including wearing hats and using sunscreen with a high SPF, can also help prevent melasma from worsening.