Section : Conference Notes

Melasma (Chloasma, Pregnancy Mask): Do not mix it up with other Conditions (For Professionals)

  • In practice, when a patient is seen during a consultation, for a pigmentation problem, it is labelled “facial melanosis”.
  • The most frequent cause of facial melanosis is chloasma (melasma, pregnancy mask)
  • When in doubt should we do a biopsy on the face ? Yes, sometimes. Here are some other causes of facial melanosis:
  1. Leprosy when treated with clofazimine
  2. Hori’s Nevus
  3. Lichen planus pigmentosus (LPP)
  4. LP-DLE overlap syndrome (Lichen Planus-Discoid Lupuis Erythematosus)
  5. Exogenous ochronosis (occurs with prolonged hydroquinone use; on histology, banana-leaf figures can be seen in the dermis; Treatment: Stop Hydroquinone (HQ) and use alternative whitening treatments)
  6. Poikiloderma of Civatte
  7. Pigmentary demarcation lines
  8. Post- inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)


Dr Christophe HSU – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland

Source of Information: 2012 (09) – Sachdev M. .21st Annual Congress of the EADV (European Academy of Dermatology and Venerology) – Prague (Praha), Czech Republic (česká republika)