Melasma (cont.)

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What SPF is recommended for melasma?

A daily sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 that contains physical blockers, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, is recommended to block UV rays, but it is important to have a sunblock that also covers for UVA protection. Chemical blockers may not fully block both types of UV-A and UV-B as effectively as zinc or titanium. The regular use of sun protection enhances the effectiveness of melasma treatments.

Can melasma be prevented?

Sometimes melasma may be preventable by avoiding facial sun exposure. In most cases, prevention is difficult. Individuals who have a family history of melasma must take extra precautions to prevent melasma. The most important way to prevent the onset of melasma and premature aging is to avoid the sun. If exposure to sunlight cannot be avoided, then hats, sunglasses, and sunblock with physical blockers should be worn.

What is the prognosis for melasma?

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Although melasma tends to be a chronic disorder with periodic ups and downs, the prognosis for most cases is good. Just as melasma develops slowly, clearance also tends to be slow. The gradual disappearance of dark spots is based on establishing the right treatment combination for each individual skin type. Melasma cases that do not successfully respond to treatment are due to excessive sun exposure.

REFERENCE:

Freedberg, Irwin M., et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/9/2013

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Melasma - Causes Question: At what stage in your life did melasma occur, and what was the cause (if known)?
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Melasma - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment did you receive for your melasma?
Melasma - Prognosis Question: Describe your experience with melasma. Did it fade or go away?

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