Laser Skin Resurfacing

What is A “Sun Mustache” and How To Get Rid of It

Is the skin above your upper lip slightly darker and more pronounced? This shadowy-looking upper lip is commonly called a “melasma mustache,” characterized by brown or gray-colored patches. This discoloration can be splotchy, symmetrical, or cover the entire upper lip. Dallas Dermatology Partners share the science behind hyperpigmentation around the mouth and offer a few tips on how to prevent and lighten it.

sun mustache treatment melasma on upper lip

What causes a sun mustache?

The upper lip is a common location for melasma to develop. This condition is more common in women and happens when melanocytes produce more melanin than usual. As a result, concentrated areas of melanin in the epidermis appear darker, and when this hyperpigmentation is above the lip, it gives a mustachioed appearance.

Various factors can increase melanocyte activity and pave the way for a melasma mustache–the most prevalent are:

  • Excess UV exposure triggers melanin production
  • Estrogen-based birth control pills
  • Hormone fluctuations with pregnancy
  • Certain medications that make the skin more photo-sensitive
  • Thyroid disorders and some systemic diseases
  • Family history of melasma
  • Trauma to the skin

In addition, women with darker skin tones are at higher risk for developing a melasma mustache due to the higher number of active melanin-producing cells.

Best prevention techniques

A good skincare regimen and diligent sun protection are the best way to protect the skin around your mouth from developing excess pigmentation. Avoid sun exposure during peak hours (10 am to 2 pm) and apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater to shield against UVA and UVB rays that can trigger melanin production.

Dermatologist recommended sun mustache treatments

If you’re trying to get rid of existing hyperpigmentation around the mouth, our dermatologists may recommend antioxidant-rich topicals. These will neutralize free radical damage, exfoliate pigmented cells from the skin’s surface, and help brighten the complexion. They will also likely prescribe a lightening compound for treatment and maintenance of the discolored patches.

Other effective sun mustache treatment options include:

  • Chemical Peels – smoother, brighter, and more evenly-toned skin can be achieved with a series of chemical peels designed to address melasma and photodamage.
  • Melanage Peels – for medium-depth melasma on the upper lip or face, a Melanage Peel can work wonders by accelerating skin cell turnover with prescription-strength acids and retinoids that target discoloration.
  • Laser Resurfacing laser therapy is another approach to treat hyperpigmented patches of skin that don’t respond to chemical peels or topical treatments. Today’s non-ablative fractional resurfacing lasers promise quicker treatments, less risk of complications, and faster recoveries.

If you are looking for a safe and effective way to get rid of hyperpigmentation on the upper lip, talk to a board-certified dermatologist first. Our team can evaluate your skin and suggest treatment options that align with your aesthetic goals. Melasma is often frustrating to treat on your own and can be exacerbated with the wrong products.

Contact us today

For more information about eliminating a sun mustache, please contact us today. Get the beautiful, clear skin you deserve by booking your Dallas dermatologist appointment.

How Often Are Laser Resurfacing Treatments Needed?

Laser resurfacing is one of the safest non-surgical treatments to stave off premature signs of aging and counteract the effects of UV damage. Whether you’re having a mini laser treatment with minimal to no downtime, or a deeper resurfacing that requires a recovery period, these procedures do more than improve the appearance of your skin. Laser resurfacing targets underlying support structures for gradual improvements in skin elasticity and firmness.

The frequency of laser resurfacing treatments will depend on the type of device being used and the goal of the procedure. For example, patients with extensive sun damage may opt for a more aggressive HALO laser treatment that targets multiple skin concerns in one go. Deeper resurfacing procedures will require more downtime, but the results will last longer.

Deeper Resurfacing Laser Treatments

For example, a laser resurfacing treatment with the BBL Halo laser, which uses ablative and non-ablative energy, may only be necessary every one to three years. This dual-wavelength device addresses discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, rough texture, blotchy skin, and other signs of photo-aging. Impressive results are visible after one session and continue to improve for 6 months as new collagen is generated in the skin.

Ablative wavelengths penetrate deeper layers of the skin, inducing the natural healing response. Non-ablative energy targets textural imbalances, enlarged pores, and uneven tone. Halo’s state-of-the-art hybrid technology means patients need fewer treatments to see dramatic improvements.

Milder Laser Treatments & Prejuvenation

Laser resurfacing with BBL (Broad Band Light) therapy is a less aggressive way to correct photo-damaged skin on a cellular level. The BBL HERO gently heats the upper layers of the epidermis to lighten hyperpigmentation and minimize redness and textural irregularities. Improvements in skin tone, clarity, and texture are evident in two to three weeks after a BBL HERO treatment. However, since this is milder phototherapy, two to three sessions are needed to see optimal results. The intervals between treatments are usually four to six weeks.

Younger patients in their 20s and 30s looking to prevent wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin are increasingly turning to laser treatments as a preventative measure. In the world of dermatology, it’s known as prejuvenation. In this context, your dermatologist may recommend a milder laser treatment like the mini HALO once every 3-4 months to help trigger collagen production and activate anti-aging genes. Quarterly laser treatments will maintain skin health, elasticity, and volume.

In terms of skin health and appearance, it’s better to prevent wrinkles and sun spots from developing rather than attempting to turn back the clock.
The frequency of laser resurfacing treatments needed will ultimately depend on your skin type, the kind of laser technology used, and whether it’s done to delay signs of aging or restore sun-damaged skin.

Laser Resurfacing in Dallas

Lasers can help preserve a youthful, healthy complexion or counteract the tell-tale signs of the aging process. Whatever your concerns or goals, our board-certified dermatologists can customize a treatment plan accordingly. Book a Dallas dermatology appointment to learn more about our laser resurfacing treatments and how often you’ll need them to maintain a youthful glow.

Home » Laser Skin Resurfacing

Contact Us

Contact Us

  • * All indicated fields must be completed. Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Newsletter Signup

Newsletter Signup

Office Hours

Monday-Thursday
8:00AM - 4:00PM

Friday
8:00AM - 2:00PM
(Please note phones are on until 3PM)

Accessibility Toolbar

Scroll to Top