Melasma is more common in darker skin. It also occurs commonly in women during pregnancy and whilst taking the oral contraceptive pill. It is aggravated by sunlight.
Patients with melasma should use high protection factor sunblocks and may benefit from the use of topical Hydroquinone containing products. There are several OTC products available and include Fade-Out which contains Kojic acid and is available from Boots. Other treatments includes acne preparations such as Retin-A and Skinoren. Treatment is often unsatisfactory and the condition tends to recur each summer.
Hydroquinone should not be used on patients with dark skins.