Melasma is a chronic skin disorder that causes brown discoloration on the face. Melasma is more common in females and generally affects people between the ages of 20-40 years. Caused by melanocytes producing excess pigment (melanin) in the skin which leads to blotchy brown patches. There are several triggers for melasma including sun exposure, pregnancy, genetic predisposition, hormone therapy, certain medications and hypothyroidism. While there is no cure for melasma, there are several treatment options to help reduce the pigmentation with the most important being sun protection. Topical agents that treat melasma include hydroquinone, azelaic acid, kojic acid, asorbic acid (vitamin c), topical retinoids and topical corticosteroids. Peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatment may also be effective.