Melasma, also known as chloasma and the ‘mask of pregnancy’, is an acquired brown macular hyper pigmentation, usually of the face. It is nine times more common in females than males.
Melasma usually presents bilaterally and symmetrically on the face, but extensor forearms may also be involved. Sun exposure, pregnancy and oral contraceptive pills have all been associated with its presentation. There are three types of melasma including: epidermal, dermal and mixed variants.
Melasma is a common pigmentary disorder. Women of Mediterranian and Asian origin get this condition commonly at puberty or later. Darkly pigmented races from India, Pakistan, and the Middle East can develop this condition very early in life.