Melasma refers to the skin discoloration or tanning, often seen in the case of pregnant women though it can affect anyone. Pregnant women and those who are taking oral contraceptives often complain of melasma. It is a non-threatening skin condition and the discoloration may go away on its own after stopping usage of oral contraceptives or after giving birth to a baby.

Experts feel that melasma gets triggered by female sex hormones progesterone and estrogen that stimulate melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment that gives skin its color) to produce more melanin pigment. Women having dark skin color and live in regions having harsh sun exposure are particularly susceptible to melasma.