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Melasma is a hyperpigmentation disorder which has been the subject of intense research over the last 40 years. As yet no definitive therapeutic strategy has been
demonstrated to eradicate it or to avoid relapse. Clare Amrani provides an up to date review.
What is melasma?
Melasma is a depigmentation condition that effects the skin in areas exposed to the sun. The facial types are the most common and fall into three components; central facial, malar and mandibular. The central facial pattern is by far the most common. Although very rare, the extra facial forms are also described. The exact cause of melasma at molecular level remains largely unknown. However, the predisposing factors are well described and include sun exposure (UV), genetic and hormonal factors.