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Melasma appears as brown patches on the face and is due to sun exposure, heat and in some cases, hormones. It is also called chloasma or mask of pregnancy. It is a darkening of the skin caused by excessive production of melanin, the pigment that causes your skin to tan. Although more common in women, it can also occur in men.

Professional Melasma Treatments in Chicago

Melasma, also known as chloasma or ‘mask of pregnancy’ is a facial skin discoloration caused by excessive melanin production. Sun exposure, heat, and hormone changes are common triggers.

While melasma can affect men, it typically becomes symptomatic in women who:

  • Are in their second or third trimester of pregnancy
  • Are on birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Or have a history of melasma and have stopped taking hormone supplements

Fortunately, there are many safe treatment options available for both women and men.

Melasma Consultation Chicago Dermatology

Treatment Options for Melasma

Melasma treatment options include everything from topical skin brighteners to cosmetic procedures. All are safe and effective but may vary in results.

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide

The most important way to treat melasma symptoms is to apply sunscreen daily. When choosing a sunscreen, look for high concentrations of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These help protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Even on cloudy days, UVA rays can tan or burn skin, and glass allows for UVA ray penetration making sunscreen necessary indoors, as well.

CCSD Specially Formulated Skin Brighteners

Our combinations of hydroquinone, retinoids, azelaic acid, and natural skin-brightening agents all work to treat the symptoms of melasma. CCSD Correct can be used twice daily, but CCSD Correct+ and CCSD Correct Brightening Pads are strictly for nighttime use only.

  • Hydroquinone
    Used safely since the ‘60s, hydroquinone can slow skin cell pigment production.
  • Retinoids
    Vitamin A retinoids help exfoliate the overly pigmented cells while reducing inflammation.
  • Azelaic Acid
    This ingredient causes cell turnover while also containing antioxidant properties that helps brighten the skin.


Various antioxidants work in different ways but all are beneficial for the treatment of darkened skin. Vitamin C can be taken topically or orally to help calm free radicals that stimulate pigment production.

Non-Surgical Procedures

We offer a variety of procedures to help lighten and brighten skin affected by melasma. These include peels, microdermabrasion, and laser treatments.

Chemical Peels

Our selection of exfoliating chemical peels can be customized to a patients skin needs and goals. The CCSD Pregnancy-Safe Peel is an excellent melasma option with alpha-hydroxys, mandelic or glycolic acid, to reveal brighter, smoother skin.

DiamondGlow Microdermabrasion

Utilizing the SkinMedica Even & Correct Advanced Brightening Serum, DiamondGlow exfoliates, extracts, and infuses skin for an instantly healthier, clearer, and brighter complexion.

Fraxel 1927nm Laser Treatment

This nonablative fractional laser delivers microscopic channels into the skin, triggering a natural healing response that reveals improved skin tone. Fraxel Dual  has minimal downtown, and may require multiple treatments depending on the severity of melasma being treated.

melasma treatment chicago
Fraxel Dual treatment for Melasma

Due to the skin cycling process, which takes 28 days, melasma treatment results may not peak for several months. If after 4 months you do not see any improvement, let us know and we will re-evaluate your treatment plan.

Melasma Specialist – Chicago

Our founder is Dr. Carolyn Jacob, a Board-Certified Dermatologist. She is Harvard-trained in cosmetic and laser surgery and is an Associate Clinical Instructor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. To schedule a consultation, please call or contact us online at your convenience.

Dr. Ibrahim is AMAZING. He has such a wonderful ‘bed side manner’ and his experience is multifaceted. I go to him for both regular skin concerns and cosmetic reasons and he has been able to help with every issue I have! He is by far the best dermatologist I have been to and I recommend him 100%

— Maddy V.


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