Melasma is a very common patchy brown, tan, or blue-gray facial skin discoloration, usually seen in women in the reproductive years. It typically appears on the upper cheeks, upper lip, forehead, and chin of women 20-50 years of age. It is uncommon in males. It is thought to be primarily related to external sun exposure, thyroid disease, external hormones like birth control pills, and internal hormonal changes as seen in pregnancy.
Your dermatologist may prescribe medications or topical treatments to help lighten Melasma. Some commonly used options are topical retinols and retinoid treatments, which are applied to the skin to help speed your body's natural cell turnover process. This may help dark patches clear more quickly than they would on their own.