Melasma is a skin condition characterized by darker-pigmented areas of the skin, often on the forehead, cheekbones, chin, upper lip, or jawline. The brown or tan spots are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50 and can make them feel self-conscious. At the Dermatology & Cosmetic Laser Center in Huntington, NY, we help patients suffering from melasma using chemical peels.
What triggers Melasma?
Melasma can be triggered by a variety of factors including hormonal changes, sun exposure, and genetics.
- Hormonal changes – Melasma can be common in pregnant women and is nicknamed the “mask of pregnancy. Hormone replacement or birth control pills may also trigger melasma.
- Sun exposure – UV exposure stimulates melanocytes which can trigger melasma. Patients often notice that their condition worsens in the summer months.
- Genetics – Individuals with a family history of melasma may be more susceptible to the condition.
Treatment for Melasma
Individuals who get melasma as a result of triggers such as pregnancy and birth control pills may notice the condition fades on its own after the birth or once they stop taking birth control. Other patients suffer for years with melasma.
One of the most effective ways for managing melasma is a chemical peel. This topical treatment works by removing dead skin cells and allowing new, fresh cells to emerge in their place. There are different levels of chemical peels, from mild to deep. These peels vary based on how deep the chemical solution penetrates the layers of skin. During your consultation, we will determine which chemical peel is best to treat your skin pigmentation issues.
Results may take a few months for complete improvement, during this time it’s important to take proper care of the skin. Daily sunscreen along with wide brimmed hats can be useful in preventing melasma from returning.