If you have melasma discolorations on your face, neck, or forearms, you’re not alone. In fact, about 5 million Americans also have this condition. The good news is, you can minimize these discolorations with a chemical peel.
Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, has many years of experience in treating melasma symptoms. At Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics in Austin, Texas, Dr. Bushore offers several minimally invasive solutions, including chemical peels, to restore your confidence in your skin’s appearance.
Why you have melasma
Melasma is a skin condition that causes discolored patches to develop on your skin, usually on your cheeks, forehead, chin, and the bridge of your nose.
The discolored patches are often brown or bluish-gray in color. While the underlying cause of melasma isn’t well-understood, dysfunction in your melanocytes (color-making cells) can cause the release of excess skin pigments.
Most often, melasma affects more women than men, especially those with dark or olive skin tones. The condition may be exacerbated by hormone changes that are common during pregnancy and menopause. Women who use birth control pills may also be at increased risk for developing melasma.
Melasma can also discolor the skin on your upper lip, neck, and forearms if you spend time in the sun unprotected.
When to consider treatment for melasma
Melasma doesn’t cause any physical symptoms, and it isn’t harmful to your health. However, many people seek treatment for melasma because they’re unhappy with how their skin looks.
You can schedule a melasma consultation at Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics if melasma discoloration affects how you feel about your skin. You should also book an appointment if you’re unsure if the discolored patches of skin relate to melasma or if you have another skin issue, such as unusual changes in moles or other abnormal skin growths.
Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, offers comprehensive skin evaluations to identify all areas of discoloration. He also checks for infections, signs of skin cancer, and existing skin issues that may also need medical attention.
Based on your aesthetic goals and the overall health of your skin, Dr. Bushore may suggest a chemical peel as your first melasma treatment option.
How chemical peels reduce visible signs of melasma
Chemical peels involve the application of a special chemical that exfoliates the upper levels of your skin to reveal the healthy, new skin below.
Depending on the severity of your melasma symptoms, Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics offers several types of chemical peels, including superficial peels, medium peels, and deep peels.
Typically, medium peels are the most beneficial for treating skin discoloration due to melasma, sun exposure, or aging. A medium peel removes the top and middle layers of your skin to minimize noticeable discoloration.
Peels also stimulate the production of new skin proteins, such as collagen and elastin, to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines.
Avoiding melasma triggers
After your chemical peel, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, provides guidance to help you prevent melasma discoloration from returning.
You will need to wear a high-quality sunscreen whenever you’re out in the sun. Women should wear a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight, long sleeves when spending extended time in the sun to further shield the skin on their face and arms.
If your melasma is hormone-related, you may need to speak with your physician about changing your method of birth control.
To see if a chemical peel can help you, call 512-459-4869 or book an appointment online with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.