The first step to preventing Melasma is adequate protection from the sun and UV rays. In the case of Melasma daily sunscreen use is critical, as one day of sun exposure can ruin weeks of bleaching treatment.
Effective broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection is absolutely necessary. Wearing wraparound sunglasses and a hat when outdoors will offer additional protection from the sun. Bleaching agents are the mainstay of treatment for melasma.
Realistic expectations are important as complete resolution is an unrealistic goal of treatment. A variety of products can reduce the intensity of the excess pigment. Specifically, over-the-counter products containing: hydroquinone, arbutin, vitamin C, kojic acid, retinol and hydrocortisone.
The triple combination of a retinoid, a corticosteroid and hydroquinone is felt to work best, especially in prescription strength and of course under the supervision of a physician. For more severe cases, a doctor may add a chemical peel or laser therapy.