Melasma is a common skin condition affecting approximately six million women in the United States and 45 to 50 million women worldwide. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 90% of individuals with melasma are women between the ages of 20 to 50 years old. Melasma manifests as light to dark brown or greyish patches of abnormal pigmentation that can appear on the cheeks, upper lip, chin, and forehead.
The name melasma comes from the Greek word “melas,” meaning black. It is sometimes referred to as “the mask of pregnancy” because it commonly affects pregnant women due to their fluctuating hormones. If melasma develops during pregnancy, it may resolve by itself a few months after delivery, but there is no guarantee it will totally disappear.
Genetic predisposition may be a major factor in the development of melasma. Everyone is born with the same number of melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin. However, these pigment cells may be larger than other depending on genetics, as in the case of darker skin types, or more active, as with those living in geographic areas that have a higher rate of sun exposure.
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Lyn Ross, L.M.E., is the founder and CEO of Institut’ DERMed Clinical Skincare, Med Spa, and College of Advanced Aesthetics. A licensed master aesthetician, Ross is an accredited aesthetic instructor with over 40 years of experience in the field of aesthetics. Throughout her career, Ross has treated thousands of clients and has worked with the top plastic surgeons and dermatologists in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been committed to bridging the gap between aesthetics and medicine for over 30 years and continues to be instrumental in influencing the exploding medical spa industry with both her hands-on technical training and solid business experience.