How to get rid of skin darkening? (photo)

Doctor's Answers (5)

It appears that you have a brown to grey-brown patch starting from the side of the ear, which extends in a reticular (lacy) pattern over the cheek. This could be melasma, pending further history and a thorough examination of your skin. There also appear to be some solar lentigo (“sun spots”) on the cheeks. 

Several factors can contribute to an individual developing melasma, such as pregnancy, certain medical conditions e.g. thyroid problems, medications, and genetic factors.

I would suggest you make an appointment with a trusted doctor for a consultation. Firstly, we would have to come to a diagnosis, before we determine whether you may need further tests/investigations and finally, a treatment plan for you. 

In general, melasma treatments can be categorized as follows and most doctors use a combination approach to best target melasma:

1. Avoiding known triggers e.g birth control pills, hormonal therapy 

2. Evidence-based medications and creams - medications in this category may include trans retinoic acid (a vitamin A derivative), hydroquinone, tranexamic acid 

3. Medical-grade lasers and associated procedures 

4. Sun protection!

Medications/Creams and lasers/procedures should only be performed under strict medical supervision; in the meantime, like what Dr. Justin has mentioned, do remember to sun block and sun protect as one of the most important things you can do to prevent melasma from worsening is to protect yourself frm UV radiation. 

Hope this helps! :)


Dr. Joanna Chan

Dr Justin Boey

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Based on your photo, you have a hyper-pigmented macular patch which can be melasma. 

To make an accurate diagnosis, I will need clearer photos, find out more about your medical history and do a thorough assessment of the skin-care products that you have been using. 

In terms of Pigmentation treatment, you should consider medical-grade pigmentation creams and pigment lasers like picosecond lasers to gradually lighten the hyper-pigmentation. Sun-block is also an important step to prevent worsening of this condition.

Please see a trusted doctor for a consult and treatment! Hope that this helps!

Warmest regards,

Dr Justin Boey

Hello Christina 

Pigmentation can usually be treated with a combination of 

  • Topical pigment/ bleaching creams 
  • Pigment laser (Nano/ Pico)   
  • Chemical peel

A few sessions is usually needed and sun protection is also vital during the treatment process. Consult a doctor to get an accurate assessment before proceeding. Hope this helps!


Dr Jiwei Wu 

The picture is slightly blur, but I do agree with Dr Chan, it appears to be consistent with melasma. Possible treatment includes a combination of laser and medical grade pigmentation cream, with the progress monitored by a medical doctor. 

Hope this helps!



There seems to be patchy pigmentations on your cheek, but frankly your photo is not clear to illustrate the pigmentations. One possibility is the hyperpigmentary skin condition called melasma, which can only be verified by a doctor on physical examination.

Melasma often presents as brown patches on both side of the cheeks, and is fairly common amongst Asian women and the darker skin types.

I can totally understand that patients can be quite disturbed by its appearance, especially if they cannot even conceal with makeup.

Melasma is one of the more challenging pigmentations to treat since the causes are a complex interplay of factors including age, genetic, hormonal, vascular, and sun exposure.

Having said so, there are available effective treatment options that include topical lightening creams, chemical peels, oral medications and pigmentation lasers. Sun protection measures are equally as important as well.

Speaking from my years of experience treating many patients with various types of pigmentations, I can say to you that melasma can still be treated quite well with good results.

So I would recommend you to speak to an experienced doctor whom you are comfortable with to discuss on the most suitable treatment options for you.

For more detailed information on melasma and its treatment, you can find out more in my "Ultimate Guide to Pigmentation Treatment in Singapore".

Hope this helps!


Dr David Ng C H

Health on the Net Foundation

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All content posted is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This Q&A is not a patient consultation and any information provided herein is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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