A localized brown coloration
in the skin associated
with pregnancy or the menopause.
is most obvious on the face, but it also occurs on the nipples and around the genitals. The cause is thought to be a disturbance in hormone production
that leads to a rise in the amount
of melanin (brown pigment) formed in the deeper
layers of the skin. It may occur in women using oral contraceptives. Although chloasma is sometimes
disfiguring, it usually disappears
at the end of pregnancy or after the menopause.
or persistent cases, some success in reducing the pigment has been achieved
with drugs. Surgical "planing" of the affected area sometimes is performed to remove the discoloration.
Very rarely, chloasma is a sign of an ovarian tumor.