Peels vs. Lasers for Dark Spots and Melasma in Tampa and St Petersburg

Posted by Anne Hermann on Thu, Jun 07, 2012 @ 08:44 PM

Dark spots are typically caused by sun damage (pigmented lesions) or hormones (melasma).  Melasma appears as large areas of darkened skin often above the lip, over the cheeks and forehead.  Sun spots (lentigo) are small dark spots that usually occur where people get the most sun.  Lasers do not help melisma, while peels and prescription skin care make a big difference in melisma.  Lasers, peels and prescription skin care all work to treat sun spots.

Chemical Peels that are effective are the deeper peels such as Jessner, Obagi Blue Peel, Cosmelan peel and Vitalize peel. Typically, patients will peel for a week after these treatments. We often do the peel on a Thursday, so the maximum peeling occurs over the weekend. For severe sun spots or melasma, we may perform a second peel 2 to 4 weeks after the first peel. Once peeling is complete, we prescribe a bleaching cream and retinoic acid to enhance results and prevent dark pigmentation from returning. Pricing on these deep peels range from $300 to $700 depending on how dark the pigmentation is.

Lasers are mainly effective on sun spots, but not melasma.  The doctor or nurse will “zap” or burn the layer of skin that has pigment. For a week to two weeks after a laser treatment, the skin will be darker over the sun spot.  Then, as that skin exfoliates off, the new skin underneath will be lighter and closer to the normal skin tone.  Often people will need a second laser treatment 2 to 4 weeks after the first.  Typically the spots will return in several years and people will need to repeat the procedure.  Average laser for sun spots costs around $250 to $300 per treatment.

The medical offices of Dr. Anne Hermann are conveniently located in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Hermann, call (813) 902-9559.

This post was written by Anne Hermann. Follow Anne Hermann on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.