Almost 7 million
people have melasma.
Only a doctor can diagnose whether you have melasma, but as a general rule, melasma appears as brown or gray-brown patches or spots on the face.
Dermatologists are able to diagnose most patients just by looking at their skin, though in some cases, a skin biopsy is necessary to confirm that the brown patches are melasma.
Melasma can affect anyone, but people with darker skin tones, including those of Latin, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and North African descent, and people with a family history of melasma are more likely to suffer from the condition. More than 6 million women are estimated to have melasma, while only 10% of melasma sufferers are men.