Do you notice brown or grayish patches developing on your face? Perhaps you have these spots occurring on your cheeks, forehead, the bridge of your nose, upper lip, or chin? Patches may even develop on the forearms or neck. What are these spots, and how can you treat them?
This condition is medically referred to as melasma and is sometimes called, “the mask of pregnancy.” Melasma worsens with hormonal fluctuations, like those experienced during pregnancy, hence the colloquialism.
Melasma is caused by a spur of melanocytes, which are the cells in the epidermis, or outermost layer of skin. These cells produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin it’s color. People with dark skin tones have more melanin-producing melanocytes present in their bodies, whereas fair skinned individuals have fewer.