Melasma is a condition that may cause brown or blue-gray patches to form on the skin. These patches or spots may form on the cheeks, nose, chin, upper lip, forehead, neck, back, and forearms. The three different types of melasma are epidermal, dermal, and mixed melasma.
Melasma is more common among people with darker brown skin or those who tan easily. The condition is also more common in women than in men. Pregnant women are the most likely to develop melasma because they have increased levels of estrogen and progesterone. Taking oral contraceptives and hormones increases the chances of developing the condition.
Though the condition is harmless, many individuals choose to undergo treatment to remove the spots.