Dr. Shahla Asvadi - MD

Understanding Melasma: Causes and Triggers

Trust Your MA Skin Care to These Doctors

Framingham, MA, is the home of Framingham Dermatology and Dr. Shahla Asvadi and Nicole Morgan PA-C, who can diagnose melasma. Our doctors are highly experienced in skin diseases and are board-certified medical doctors and Mohs surgeons. We have an extensive list of services we provide and welcome your call. We are here to inform you about a skin condition we frequently treat.  

What is Melasma?

If you have flat brown or blue-gray skin patches that are freckle-like in appearance, you may have what is known as melasma, a chronic skin condition. This common skin condition develops when you have an overproduction of skin cells. 

Framingham Dermatology in Framingham, MA, says the great thing is that while melasma is a pesky condition, it is harmless. We have a few treatment options that may possibly help eliminate these skin areas that generally develop on the forehead, nose, chin, upper lip, cheeks, forearms, neck, and back. 

Pregnant women often develop this harmless condition that seems to worsen in the summer months and is due to an increase in estrogen and progesterone. 

Risk Factors 

  • Pregnant women
  • Ages 20 - 40
  • Fair-skinned people
  • Taking oral contraceptives
  • Taking hormones

Three Types

There are three types of this condition, depending on the depth they go into the layers of skin: 

  • Epidermal: dark brown, responds well to treatment
  • Dermal: light brown, bluish, responds poorly to treatment
  • Mixed: most common, bluish, brown, mixed pattern, some response to treatment


A few causes of this skin condition are hormones, ultraviolet light, infrared light, and radiation. Some medications are to blame, like birth control drugs and antiseizure drugs as are hormones, genetics, hypothyroidism, LED lights, pregnancy, some cosmetics, antibiotics, steroids, NSAIDs, diuretics, skin care products, some soaps, and tanning beds.

Treatment Options

This skin issue is chronic and sometimes short-term, as during pregnancy. It is difficult to treat, and no definitive treatment works magic. Uncovering why you develop this helps in the treatment process. The best treatment option is to avoid what triggers may cause your condition. This condition responds slowly to any treatment. 

Call Us Today for Skin Care!

Call Dr. Shahla Asvadi and Nicole Morgan PA-C at Framingham Dermatology at 508-644-0040 in Framingham, MA, today for your skin assessment for melasma or any of our many other skin services. We are eager to meet you and provide you and your family with top-quality skin healthcare. 

While this condition is harmless and does not turn into cancer, its appearance can mimic skin cancer, so it is best if you make an appointment and come to see us for a skin assessment.

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