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Melasma Diagnosis & Treatment Carlsbad

Looking for effective diagnosis and treatment options for melasma in Carlsbad? Discover professional expertise and personalized care for melasma. Our skilled team offers advanced diagnostic techniques to identify melasma and develops tailored treatment plans to address your unique needs. Book your appointment today and experience the difference.

What is Melasma?

Melasma causes bluish or brownish discolorations of the skin. It usually appears on the forehead, cheeks, bridge of the nose and above the upper lip. It is often seen in women due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or while using birth control pills.

Melasma - Carlsbad/Encinitas in San Diego County

Level Up Your
Glow with
Melasma Treatment.

Treat Your Melasma For Clear, Radiant Skin

Experience the ultimate solution for melasma at Glow Theory Aesthetic and Dermatology Studio in Carlsbad. Achieve clear, radiant skin with our specialized melasma treatment options. Our expert team combines advanced techniques and state-of-the-art technology to diagnose and treat melasma effectively.

Say goodbye to those stubborn brown patches and hello to a more even complexion. Trust in Glow Theory Aesthetic and Dermatology Studio to provide you with personalized care and outstanding results. Schedule your appointment today and embark on your journey towards beautiful, flawless skin.

What Causes Melasma?

  • Sun exposure
  • Hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control
  • Genetics
  • Exposure to UV light
  • Anything that causes inflammation in the skin, like skin care products and heat

The sun may be gone, but those darkened blotches of skin from your summer tan might still linger on the forehead, chin, cheeks, or nose. These dark spots called melasma, and they can last for months or even years. It is a common cosmetic condition that is not precancerous, but it can cause concern for some people.

It is not completely clear what causes melasma, but it seems to cause by overactivity of melanocytes, the cells that produce pigment (color) in your skin. These overactive melanocytes lead to the formation of blotchy patches and freckle-like spots. Certain triggers can exacerbate melasma, such as direct sunlight and tanning beds. Some medications can also irritate melasma, including oral antibiotics and some cardiac medications. Stress and certain hormones (like cortisol) can also trigger melasma.


Melasma characterized by dark spots or patches that look darker than the surrounding skin. These spots appear symmetrically over the cheeks, nose, chin and upper lip. They may also appear on the arms or neck. These dark marks are usually flat, and they don’t hurt or itch. They usually fade on their own in the winter, but they can recur during the summer when sunlight is more intense. Most patients with melasma notice that their symptoms get worse in the summer, when sunlight is more intense.


Glow Theory can diagnose melasma by examining the skin and taking a history of the symptoms. We use Visia Skin Analysis examination to differentiate it from other types of hyperpigmentation. We might also biopsy a patch of melasma to confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment is usually based on reducing the amount of pigment produced by the skin. This can do with topical medication such as hydroquinone (HQ), which should always be used in combination with other agents because prolonged use of HQ can lead to untoward side effects like skin irritation and depigmentation. Other treatments include chemical peels, microneedling and laser therapy such as non-ablative fractionated lasers Halo.


The good news is that melasma isn’t harmful, and it usually fades on its own in time. But if it is bothersome, there are several treatments available.

The most important step is to avoid sun exposure. This means wearing a wide-brimmed hat, staying in the shade, and applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) daily—especially after washing your face and body. Your dermatologist may also prescribe a medicated cream to help decrease the excess pigment in your skin. This can include azelaic acid or kojic acid, which work to lighten dark spots. A topical retinoid can also be helpful because it helps stimulate collagen production and evens out skin tone.

Adding laser or light treatment to your regimen can also improve results. These procedures can reduce redness, improve texture and discoloration, and encourage your skin to produce more natural pigment.

Other preventative measures can include avoiding estrogen-containing birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, which often trigger melasma. If you’re thinking of trying any of these methods, be sure to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor.

You can also keep your melasma in check by using moisturizers that can help prevent dryness, which often causes the darker areas to flare up. A healthy diet and regular exercise can also help prevent melasma, because they may affect your levels of the enzyme tyrosinase, which contributes to the creation of melanin pigment.


It is important to note that not all melasma responds well to treatment and some will continue to darken and relapse. This is why it is so important to develop a customized management plan for you. Patients with melasma should commit to their plan and follow it as closely as possible in order to achieve the best results.

Melasma Before & After

Discover the transformative power of melasma treatment through before and after pictures. Witness the remarkable changes in skin tone and texture by viewing melasma before and after images. While these pictures provide inspiration, it’s crucial to consult with us for personalized guidance tailored to your unique needs.


melasma-1-before melasma-1-after
melasma-2-before melasma-2-after
Melasma Treatments Explained

The Science Behind Your Confidence.

Personalized Treatment Plans Tailored To Your Skin

At Glow Theory Aesthetic & Dermatology Studio, we believe in using the power of science to help fuel our patients’ confidence. We also believe that each of our patient’s skin and bodies are as unique as their personality.

For that reason, we are proud to provide each patient with an individual melasma treatment plan tailored to their skins’ needs. We understand that melasma is a complex condition that affects the melanocytes in the skin and can be difficult to treat. We also understand that something as simple as enjoying a tanning bed or staying out by the beach can cause a reappearance of melasma after it’s faded.

Our medical professionals use the advanced VISIA® skin analysis system to capture high-quality images of your skin and assess your problem areas and treat your melasma at its source.

Recommended Melasma Treatments

Melasma FAQs

Who is at risk of developing melasma?

Melasma predominantly affects women, particularly those with darker skin types (Fitzpatrick skin types III-VI). However, it can also occur in men. Individuals with a family history of melasma, a history of pregnancy or hormonal therapies, and those living in regions with intense sun exposure are at higher risk.

Are there any side effects associated with melasma treatment?
Some melasma treatments may have potential side effects, such as skin irritation, redness, dryness, or increased sensitivity to sunlight. It is crucial to follow the instructions provided by your dermatologist or healthcare professional, and inform them of any adverse reactions experienced during treatment.
What is melasma mustache?

Melasma mustache, also known as melasma on the upper lip, refers to a common skin condition characterized by dark patches or pigmentation that appear on the upper lip area, resembling a mustache-like pattern.

What causes melasma mustache?

Melasma mustache primarily caused by an overproduction of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, due to various factors such as hormonal changes (e.g., pregnancy, hormonal therapies), sun exposure, genetics, and certain medications.

Can melasma mustache be treated?

Yes, melasma mustache can be treated. While complete eradication may not always be possible, various treatment options can help lighten and fade the dark patches, reducing their appearance and improving overall skin tone.

What are the treatment options for melasma mustache?

Treatment options for melasma mustache include topical creams and serums containing ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, corticosteroids, and kojic acid. Dermatological procedures such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, and intense pulsed light (IPL) can also be effective in treating melasma mustache.

How long does it take to see results from melasma mustache treatment?

The time required to see results from melasma mustache treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition and the chosen treatment method. It can take several weeks to months of consistent treatment before noticeable improvements occur.

Are there any side effects associated with melasma mustache treatment?

Some melasma mustache treatments may have potential side effects such as skin irritation, redness, dryness, or increased sensitivity to sunlight. It is essential to follow the instructions provided by your dermatologist or healthcare professional and use sun protection to minimize these effects.

Can melasma mustache come back after treatment?

Yes, melasma mustache can recur even after successful treatment. It is important to continue practicing sun protection measures, such as using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing, as sun exposure is a common trigger for melasma recurrence.

Can melasma return after treatment?

Yes, melasma can recur even after successful treatment. Factors such as sun exposure, hormonal changes, and certain medications can trigger its reappearance. Therefore, it is important to continue practicing sun protection and follow-up with maintenance treatments as recommended.

Can melasma fade naturally without treatment?

In some cases, melasma may fade naturally, particularly if the triggers (such as hormonal changes or sun exposure) are minimized or avoided. However, this can take a long time, and treatment options can significantly expedite the fading process.

Can melasma affect other parts of the body?

Although melasma most commonly appears on the face, it can also occur on other sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the neck and forearms. Sun protection and similar treatment approaches can be applied to these areas as well.

Take the First Step in Your Glow Theory Experience.

The medical staff at Glow Theory Aesthetic & Dermatology Studio is excited to help you regain your confidence and become the best version of yourself. Our expert aesthetic professionals are proud to offer a variety of non-surgical cosmetic treatments in a welcoming environment that transcends the traditional medspa experience. We are proud to help patients in Carlsbad (La Costa), Encinitas and the neighboring communities of Rancho Santa Fe, Oceanside, Solana Beach  and Del Mar, California to level up their glow. Contact us to schedule your private Melasma treatment consultation today.

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