Bianca Castro

How to Protect Skin Against Condition That Could Cause Discoloration

Summer may be winding down, but the amount of time you spend in the sun may not be.

Doctors say if you're not protecting your skin properly, you could end up with a common skin condition you wouldn't expect.

Mandy Dauses is relying on laser treatments to help keep past mistakes from affecting her skin.

"I grew up in a time when we didn't use sunscreen!" said Dauses, who spends most of her days outdoors as a rancher in Corsicana.

Years of not using sun protection resulted in a condition called melasma, the discoloration of the skin.

It's most commonly associated with pregnant woman because a sudden shift in hormones is one of the main causes, but experts say many people don't realize it can happen to anyone.

"It doesn't discriminate. It affects all races, skin types and all genders," said Renew Beauty Medspa Registered Nurse Heather Hood Galliani. "It's usually on the check, forehead or upper lip, which makes it look like a shadow or mustache."

Melasma can fade on its own but a topical medication is a common first treatment.

Still, Dauses chose to undergo an intense laser treatment called Fraxel, followed by a series of these less invasive laser treatments.

"I do work very hard on the ranch and I still want to be a lady and look like a lady. Doing these treatments helps that," said Dauses.

After two years of treatments and daily use of sunscreen, she says the changes extend to beyond what you see.  

"The confidence is amazing but I'm also happy with the way I look and I'm happy with the way I feel," said Dauses.

Hood Galliani said one of the most common treatments for melasma is sun protection. This means wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying the sunscreen every two hours.  Dermatologists also recommend wearing a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside.

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