What is Melasma? 

Melasma is a common skin condition that can cause dark, discolored patches on your skin. This condition can also be referred to as Chloasma. The patches are darker than your skin color and typically occur on the face in areas such as the cheeks, forehead, bridge of the nose, and chin. Melasma can also occur on the neck and forearms. 


Darker-skinned individuals are more at risk of developing this condition than those with fair skin. Estrogen and Progesterone sensitivity are associated with this diagnosis, meaning birth control, pregnancy, and hormone therapy can trigger melasma. Additionally stress, thyroid disease, and sun exposure can cause the devolopement of melasma. 

How is Melasma diagnosed?

Often times, a visual exam can diagnose melasma, but another technique using a Wood's lamp examination can be used. This exam uses a special kind of light thats held up to your skin. It allows Dr. Patel to check for bacterial and fungal infections and it can help determine how many layers of the skin the melasma affects. 

Is Melasma treatable? 

For some people melasma can lessen on its own. However there are topical treatments Dr. Patel can prescribe that can help lighten the affected skin such as combination creams that include: Tranexamic Acid (treats pigmentation and dark spots), Ascorbic Acid (contains Vitamin C and Vitamin E), Niacinamide (helps fight acne and hyperpigmentation), Tretinoin (fights aging, skin discoloration, and acne) , Kojic Acid (skin-lightening agent), and Hydroquinone (bleaching cream used to lighten dark spots). 

If you think you may be experiencing this skin condition, please give us a call here at Contour Dermatology and Cosmetics. Our goal is to help you feel confident in your skin!

Phone: (805) 491-5992


Dr. Mayha Patel Dr. Patel diagnoses conditions affecting the hair, skin, and nails, which often have a large impact on your self-image and confidence. Using exams, blood tests, biopsies, and other approaches, Dr. Patel frequently diagnoses eczema, psoriasis, alopecia, acne, and various types of skin cancer creating an individualized treatment plan with each patient’s needs in mind. In addition, as a board-certified dermatologist Dr. Patel has extensive cosmetic dermatology experience and knowledge in numerous state of the art interventional procedures in cosmetic dermatology such as botox®, fillers, microneedling, kybella, and thread lifts. Dr. Patel also specializes in facial contouring, concierge cosmetics, and laser based procedures. Dr. Patel frequently uses her dual wavelength laser system for treatment, as well as UV light therapies, prescription medications, and topical products with proven results.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Filler Aftercare

After getting filler injections it is important to have a good after care plan. This is what we recommend:

Radiesse Filler

Looking to treat unwanted facial lines and wrinkles? Or how about getting definition and structure back into your cheeks? If you answered yes, we have the perfect filler for you!


Have you ever wondered why you sweat so much even though you aren't hot?

Laser Hair Removal

Are you tired of shaving and waxing? Laser hair removal is a great option for getting rid of unwanted hair!