Melasma Quiz

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Yukiko Ueda

Yukiko Ueda, MD (Dermatology)

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Learn more about Melasma

Content updated on Nov 2, 2022

What is melasma?

A skin condition characterized by brown or blue-gray patches or freckle-like spots. Melasma happens because of overproduction of the cells that make the color of the skin. Melasma is so common during pregnancy that it’s sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy.”

Symptoms of melasma

  • Black/blue/brown spots or moles, on the skin and lining of the mouth

  • Redness or bumps on the skin, that occur or worsen with cosmetics

Questions your doctor may ask to check for melasma

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose melasma

  • Are there black, blue, or brown spots on the skin or elsewhere? (Including moles)

  • Do your rashes occur or worsen after using cosmetics?

Treatment for melasma

Avoid the sun, tanning beds, LED screens, irritating soaps and birth control that includes hormones as they may worsen the melasma. The combination of hydroquinone, tretinoin and a moderate topical steroid can be effective in treating melasma.

View the symptoms of Melasma


  • Passeron T, Picardo M. Melasma, a photoaging disorder. Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2018 Jul;31(4):461-465. doi: 10.1111/pcmr.12684. Epub 2018 Jan 12. PMID: 29285880.

  • Kwon SH, Na JI, Choi JY, Park KC. Melasma: Updates and perspectives. Exp Dermatol. 2019 Jun;28(6):704-708. doi: 10.1111/exd.13844. Epub 2018 Dec 21. PMID: 30422338.

  • Sarkar R, Bansal A, Ailawadi P. Future therapies in melasma: What lies ahead? Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2020 Jan-Feb;86(1):8-17. doi: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_633_18. Erratum in: Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2020 Sep-Oct;86(5):608. PMID: 31793496.

  • Rajanala S, Maymone MBC, Vashi NA. Melasma pathogenesis: a review of the latest research, pathological findings, and investigational therapies. Dermatol Online J. 2019 Oct 15;25(10):13030/qt47b7r28c. PMID: 31735001.

Reviewed By:

Yukiko Ueda

Yukiko Ueda, MD (Dermatology)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

Shohei Harase

Shohei Harase, MD


Kameda Medical Center, Japan

Yu Shirai

Yu Shirai, MD


Yotsuya Yui Clinic, Japan

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD

Internal medicine

Co-founder of Ubie, Inc.

Rohini R

Rohini R, MD

Ear, nose, throat (ENT)

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Seiji Kanazawa, MD, PHD

Obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN)

National Center for Child Health and Development, Japan

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