Melasma Treatments: Creams vs Chemical Peels

As skin ages, discoloration such as melasma is more likely to occur as skin has been exposed to one of a number of causes.

Melasma is a condition that causes discolored spots to appear on the faces of women during reproductive ages. This condition is caused by factors such as hormonal changes, sun exposure or the use of birth control pills. These spots may be tan, blue or other colors and often require treatments to remove them. Treating melasma is often accomplished by the use of creams or chemical peels, both of which can be effective.

Creams used to treat melasma often contain a number of ingredients such as hydroquinone that helps to bleach the skin. These creams may be found over the counter or by prescription. These creams vary in price, with some being very affordable while others may cost hundreds of dollars. Because creams can be obtained over the counter they are easier to use to begin treating melasma conditions without the need for a doctor visit.

Two of the most popular creams for treating melasma include Meladerm and SkinBright. Both have gotten positive reviews from melasma sufferers. Please note: Bleaching creams, whether prescription or over the counter do have potential side effects that can be bothersome or irritate the skin. These side effects may include redness, peeling or swelling with long term use. Therefore, it is important to follow the directions specified by the manufacturer closely.

Chemical peels are performed by a licensed professional or physician. These peels use different types of chemicals that can remove not only age spots, melasma spots but also help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Because of this, many may find that chemical peels have a distinct advantage over creams as it treats more than one skin condition.

There are two main types of peels – light and deep. A light peel can be quickly performed, such as on a lunch break at a spa, while a deep peel takes longer. There is no recovery period after a light peel but deep peels do have a recovery time as the peel penetrates deeper.

The cost of chemical peels can also be a limiting factor for some. Often peels must be done at least once per month in order to achieve lasting results but may also need to be maintained. Lighter peels may require more sessions of treatment before results may be noticed.

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