Using a Chemical Peel to Treat Your Melasma


An estimated 5 million Americans have melasma, which is a condition that causes discolored patches on the face. If you’re bothered by this discoloration but aren’t sure how to treat it, you can find help at Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics.

Board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, specializes in several minimally invasive melasma treatments, including chemical peels. Dr. Bushore focuses on minimizing the discoloration on your face while protecting the overall health of your skin.

What causes melasma?

Melasma is a skin condition that causes brown or bluish-gray patches to form on your skin. The underlying cause of melasma isn’t well understood, but dysfunction in the cells (melanocytes) that produce skin pigments may contribute to the condition.

If you spend time in the sun unprotected, this may trigger melanocytes to produce excess pigments. This condition most often occurs in the following areas:

While both men and women can develop melasma discoloration, the condition is most common in women, especially during pregnancy. For this reason, melasma is known as the mask of pregnancy. Only about 10% of men have melasma.

What are the risk factors for melasma?

In addition to sun exposure, other risk factors for developing melasma include:

While melasma isn’t harmful, it can affect how you feel about the appearance of your skin. If you’re embarrassed by the discoloration, board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, can evaluate your skin and determine which treatment is best for you.

Dr. Bushore may recommend a chemical peel to address melasma symptoms if your skin is otherwise healthy and you can tolerate the procedure.

What are chemical peels?

Chemical peels are a popular and effective method for rejuvenating the skin’s appearance, tone, and texture.

Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics offers several types of chemical peels based on your skin type and its overall condition. Peels involve the application of a chemical solution to the surface of your skin. The solution exfoliates layers of your skin to address melasma and other skin issues, such as:

Chemical peels can also improve uneven skin tones, rejuvenate dull-looking skin, and soften skin that feels rough. 

What types of chemical peels are available?

Depending on the severity of your melasma and the other skin issues you wish to treat, we may recommend any of the following:

Superficial peels

Superficial peels remove only the top layer of your skin to address redness and rough-textured skin types. These are the most commonly used peels to treat melasma and have minimal downtime.

Medium peels

Medium peels address skin discoloration, such as melasma and age spots, by exfoliating the top and middle layers of your skin.

Deep peels

Deep peels offer the most anti-aging benefits, removing several layers of your skin. This type of peel is the most invasive and requires anesthesia. You’ll need several weeks of healing time before you can see the results of a deep peel. These are not recommended for melasma.

Our aesthetics team offers croton oil deep peels to address severe facial creases, wrinkles, and other age-related skin issues.

Following a comprehensive skin evaluation with board-certified dermatologist David A. Bushore, MD, we can determine which type of chemical peel is best for treating your melasma.

If you’re not a candidate for chemical peels, Dr. Bushore may recommend other options, such as laser treatments, skin care products, or DiamondGlow® Dermalinfusion therapy.

To learn more about chemical peels and other available treatments for melasma, call 512-459-4869 or book an appointment online with Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics today.

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