Melasma is a dark skin discoloration normally found on sun-exposed areas of the face. It is a very common skin disorder. Though it can affect anyone, young women with brownish skin tones are at greatest risk. Melasma is often associated with the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. It is especially common in pregnant women (often called the Mask of Pregnancy) women who are taking oral contraceptives, and women taking hormone replacement therapy.
One of the most common preventions for melasma is sun protection. This means wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying the sunscreen every 2 hours. Dermatologists also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside. Sunscreen alone may not give you the protection you need.