State-of-the-art, personalized skin care
from experienced professionals
“A regular skin checkup can literally save your life.” Jennifer Krasnoff, MD

Dyschromia or dyspigmentation is a relatively common skin condition, particularly among individuals with darker skin color.  Melasma is a form of dyschromia that is usually triggered by hormonal changes, particularly among women who are pregnant or are on estrogen-based oral contraceptive.  We recommend the use of a bleaching cream, and adhering to these three principles:

  • Consistent sun protectionYou must wear a hat and at least a SPF30 broad spectrum sunscreen daily to protect the affected skin.  Re-apply sunscreen every 2-3 hours while in the sun, as even inadvertent exposure on a sunny afternoon may cause discoloration to return, even if it was previously successfully treated.  Physical blocks such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are preferred as they offer superior protection against both UVB and UVA.
  • Gentle cleansingAvoid using scrubs to cleanse your skin.  Intensive cleansing of the affected areas can cause inflammation and micro-injuries, which may worsen this condition.
  • Stop estrogen-based oral contraceptives: This type of hormone treatment may contribute to dyspigmentation, and make this condition difficult to reverse (even with the use of prescription bleaching cream).

A note about bleaching creams: Virtually all bleaching creams can be irritating initially.  Reduce irritation by waiting 10-15 minutes after washing the skin to apply the cream.  Start by applying the cream to the affected area every other day then increasing up to the instructed schedule.  With most prescribed bleaching creams, skin lightening generally occurs within 2 months of starting your medication.

Your physician will supervise your care to be sure you do not develop a rare condition called ochronosis, in which the skin becomes darker instead of lighter. We may recommend the use of non-hydroquinone products to relieve the skin of this strong agent and reduce this adverse reaction. In addition to topical agents, we may recommend laser surgery for some patients. 





Petaluma Office
165 Lynch Creek Way
Petaluma, CA 94954
 M-F, 8:00am-5:00pm
(707) 762-5531
Fax: (707) 762-5976



Hercules Office
500 Alfred Nobel Dr., Ste. 245
Hercules, CA 94547
M-F, 8:00am-5:00pm
Open Saturday for aesthetic services
 (510) 741-7418
Fax: (510) 741-7456


Billing office
Fax: 510- 741-7493

At Dermatology Associates of the Bay Area, our board-certified dermatologists serve patients at our Petaluma and Hercules offices. We are committed to the highest standards, and we offer a full range of cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatology procedures, as well as quality skin care products.

Dermatology Associates of the Bay Area
165 Lynch Creek Way | Petaluma, California 94954 | Phone: (707) 762-5531 | Fax: (707) 762-5976
500 Alfred Nobel Drive, Suite 245 | Hercules, California 94547 | Phone: (510) 741-7418 | Fax: (510) 741-7456