What to know about Melasma on dark skin tones

What to know about Melasma on dark skin tones

Melasma (chloasma) appears as symmetrical patches most often on the cheeks, chin, upper lip, and forehead.

Melasma is a common form of hyperpigmentation that causes dark patches to develop on the face and other areas of the body commonly exposed to sunlight.

Other causes of melasma include changes in hormones, and skincare products that contain irritating chemicals. The dark patches develop as a result of malfunctioning melanocytes, the cells that produce color in the skin.

Females and people with dark complexions are at a higher risk of developing melasma. Although it is harmless, some people may seek treatment for aesthetic reasons.

These patches often appear on the:

  • cheeks
  • nose
  • forehead
  • upper lip
  • chin

The patches usually have irregular borders. Some patches form flat solid patches of discoloration, while others have a freckly or blotchy appearance.

Causes of melasma on dark skin

Melasma occurs when melanocytes produce too much pigmentation in the skin, resulting in dark patches. People with black or brown skin have more melanocytes. This means that they are more likely to develop melasma than people with lighter complexions.

This condition usually develops in adults in their 20s or 30s. However, some forms of melasma do not appear until a person reaches their 40s.

Possible causes of melasma include:

  • genetics
  • frequent sun exposure
  • skincare products that contain irritating ingredients
  • hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or while taking hormonal birth control


Melasma due to hormonal changes will fade once hormone levels return to normal. This can happen after pregnancy ends or once a person stops taking hormonal birth control.

Certain medical conditions can cause hormonal imbalances.

Examples include:

  • thyroid disease
  • type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • menopause and perimenopause
  • chronic stress
Secret Faces, Oakville, Darlene Walchuk

Melasma does not typically require treatment. However, some people may seek treatment for aesthetic reasons. While various topical agents and cosmetic procedures can help fade melasma patches, not all treatments work for everyone. Treatment might not completely clear melasma patches, and melasma can return even after successful treatment. Since sun exposure can contribute to melasma, people must wear sunscreen to protect their skin and prevent melasma flares.

Secret Faces, Oakville, Darlene Walchuk

Alumier MD Broad Spectrum Sunscreen

Non-Surgical Solutions

Non-surgical procedures may help fade melasma patches if topical treatments do not work. These include:

Chemical Peel. A chemical peel may help remove discolored skin cells. Chemical peels work by deeply exfoliating the surface layers of the skin forcing your body to quickly replenish it with new cells. When peels are performed regularly, the skin gets used to this process and begins to rejuvenate itself like a younger skin.

At Secret Faces we offer superficial to medium depth peels known for their excellent result and safety profile. All the Peels are performed by Darlene Walchuk RN as skin care professional in a clinical setting, so they are delivered safely and effectively.

IPL Photofacials with Lumecca™ IPL Photofacials is the most powerful intense pulsed light to treat pigmented and vascular lesions. It is the ultimate solution to rejuvenate your skin and operates using photohermolysis, which provides a photo facial through the delivery of a comfortable light treatment.

Microneedling SkinPen® by Bellus Medical, is a medical grade state of the art precision microneedling tool available through skin care professionals only. It is designed to address acne scars, hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, skin texture as well as fine limes and wrinkles.

Secret Faces, Oakville, Darlene Walchuk

How to prevent melasma

While melasma is treatable, people can take steps to prevent melasma. These steps include:

  • wearing sunscreen daily
  • wearing broad-brimmed hats outside
  • avoiding direct sun exposure
  • using gentle skincare products
  • eating a healthful, balanced diet
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • managing any underlying health conditions

Secret Faces provides the best in medical aesthetics in Oakville, and the ultimate rejuvenating experience.

Book a consultation or treatment by calling 905-808-1774 or filling out the attached form.

Owned and operated by Darlene Walchuk RN, BScN.