Melasma is treated with 2 percent over-the-counter and 4 percent prescription-strength topical creams containing hydroquinone, explains MedicineNet.com. Tretinoin or a corticosteroid may be prescribed as well, explains the American Academy of Dermatology, to increase the lightening of the skin. Chemical peels, microdermabrasion and dermabrasion are a last resort.
Since sun exposure is partly to blame, the use of sunscreen or the avoidance of UV rays altogether is an essential part of treatment, explains MedicineNet.com. In instances where discoloration is triggered by pregnancy or birth control, the skin disorder may fade after delivery or when birth control and hormone therapy are discontinued.