Commonly referred to as a “pregnancy mask,”melasma is actually a skin condition that can occur in both men and women. It causes uneven darker skin patches to appear, primarily on the face. While some people are able to hide the condition under cosmetics, others have to deal with the embarrassment of having blotchy skin. A chemical peel can improve or even eliminate the appearance of melasma by removing the top layers of dead skin, causing new skin to replace the darker areas.
Why Does Melasma Appear?
Melasma occurs when the melanin inside your skin becomes more active. Not a whole lot is known about what causes the melanin to behave this way, but there are some well-accepted theories. Dermatologists have found that hormones tend to play a role in the condition’s appearance. For example, pregnant women frequently have it, which is why it’s better known as a “pregnancy mask.” It can also appear in women who are premenopausal.
People who live in sunnier environments are also more prone to having melasma, especially those who have darker skin. These individuals have more active melanin in their skin than people with fair skin, making it easier for the condition to appear.
Melasmais also hereditary. Men who have melasma usually have a family member who has or had melasma previously.
How Does a Chemical Peel Help?
Your skin is constantly shedding dead skin cells and replacing them with new ones. However, the dead cells can form layers on the top of your skin that can contribute to a blotchy appearance. Chemical peels remove these top layers so that new skin can replace them and give your face a younger, rejuvenated look. Basically, they speed up the natural process of skin cell loss and replenishment.
While there are at-home chemical peel kits available, it’s better to have a professional do it for you, especially when you are dealing with a skin condition that may require special consideration. Melasma can emerge with different levels of severity; for some people, it sticks around for years and is very noticeable. It might even take more than one treatment to bring your skin back to its normal, even appearance. There are a wide variety of chemical peel solutions available and choosing the wrong one could be dangerous to your skin. A skin care expert will be able to determine the best chemical solution to help improve your skin without causing permanent damage to it.
What’s the Procedure Like?
The chemical peel procedure can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the kind of peel you get. Peels range in intensity from superficial to deep; the intensity dictates the amount of downtime you’re going to need following the procedure.
The process starts with the technician cleaning your face to remove any dirt or contaminates that could interact with the chemicals in the solution. The solution is then applied to the affected area of your face and left for a short amount of time. Superficial peels usually sit for only a few minutes, while deep peels require more time. Once all the affected areas have been exposed to the solution, the technician rinses off your face and applies alcohol or water to neutralize any remaining chemicals.
How About the Recovery?
Recovery can take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. It all depends on what type of chemical peel was used in your procedure. It will be extremely important to take care of your skin while you recover. This means following any and all instructions from your doctor. Doing so will boost your recovery, prevent infection, and keep the results long-lasting. No matter what kind of peel you get, daily sunscreen and moisturizer will be part of your skin care.
Once your skin has healed, the melasma will have diminished or disappeared. If your melasma is darker and persistent, it may take more than one peel treatment to remove the condition completely. Chemical peels can be performed routinely until the melasma has been removed and asa preventative measure.
Schedule a Skin Care Consultation
If you suffer from melasma and are interested in learning more about how chemical peels could help you, contact Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery at (480) 418-6415 to schedule a skin care consultation. We offer a wide variety of chemical peels and have the expertise to give you the best skin possible. Call us today!