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Both melasma and sun damage can cause dark spots and discoloration. However, these issues have different causes and respond to different treatments. So which is affecting your skin- and how can you reduce the look of dark spots? Read on to learn all about melasma vs. sun damage.

What is Melasma?

Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin. It occurs due to hormonal changes, usually during pregnancy. (In fact, it’s also sometimes called “the mask of pregnancy”). However, non-pregnant women can also develop melasma. Melasma can look just like other forms of hyperpigmentation. The difference is its cause- and also how it’s treated.

What is Sun Damage?

Sun damage is self-explanatory. However, the skin symptoms that come along with sun damage can be a little more difficult to explain. Sun damage is more common among people with fair skin or those with repeated sun exposure, though anyone can develop it. Sun damage can cause hyperpigmentation, just like melasma.

Melasma Vs. Sun Damage

The key difference between melasma vs. sun damage is the condition’s cause. However, the look of the skin will also vary. Melasma can be easier to identify because it usually presents as brown patches across a woman’s face. Sun damage can vary from freckles to sunburn to dark patches. Sun damage can also develop into skin cancer, so it is important to get damaged skin examined regularly.

Treating Melasma Vs. Sun Damage

While you might not like the look of melasma, the condition is perfectly harmless. However, some women do choose to seek treatment to lessen these dark spots. Unfortunately, melasma is difficult to treat due to its hormonal nature. However, doctors can use a combination of oral medications and topical treatments to reduce its effect.

Sun damage treatments vary based on your type of skin issue. Generally speaking, the best way to treat sun damage is to prevent it in the first place. Use sunscreens and protective clothing when out in the sun. You should also talk to your dermatologist after you notice sun damage so that they can examine you for skin cancer.

Whether you’re dealing with melasma or sun damage, we can help you deal with your skin changes. Call Care Dermatology today, or click the link above to book your visit online.