Melasma, a common skin disorder, causes dark patches to appear on the face. These are most commonly found on the cheeks and forehead. This benign skin condition affects men and women alike but is more prevalent in darker-skinned women.
Melasma, also called chloasma (or “masks of pregnancy”), occurs most often during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. It can develop in women who aren’t pregnant but can also be caused by sun exposure, genetics, and certain medications.
It is still unknown what causes Melasma, but the overproduction of pigment called melanin is thought to be the cause. Melasma can be caused by hormones like estrogen and progesterone, which stimulate melanin production. This is why it is more common among women who are pregnant or taking birth control pills.
Melasma is also a result of sun exposure. UV rays can cause the skin to produce melanin, resulting in dark patches.