C.W. asks from Philadelphia, PA on April 14, 2010
Anyone Out There Have Melasma from Sun Damage?
I have been dealing with skin damage called melasma since 2004! Not so great to deal with, I have been to the dermatologist and tried a few creams the next procedure would have been laser treatment that would have left me looking like a leopard. It's ok during the winter months as the brown areas on my check bones, upper lip, and eyebrow area fade. Soon as Spring comes around here comes the dark brown patches.
Before going outside I use Solbar which was prescibed to me by the derm. I am looking for somehting to help camoflauge the areas better. I use bare minerals but the patches are still noticeable.....
If anyone out there is experiencing the same thing and has found the mirable cream let me know? Thanks so much......
T.W. answers from Spartanburg on April 15, 2010
I have this same problem and it started when I went on birth control pills. I don't know if you are on them or not. I stopped the pills. I started wearing sunscreen every time I went out. Some sunscreens protect better than others. A few months ago I started using a lightening cream twice daily. I think it has faded slightly, but since it is just now spring I am really not sure, as my face lightens in the winter anyway. This spring/summer I am wearing the sunscreen and also wearing a hat anytime I will be in the sun. I hate it, but I have to, because any contact with the sun makes the spots worse. I will continue to use the cream and by the end of the summer I will know if it has truly helped or not. If not I will consider microdermabrasion treatments. It seems to me like that would help because it is actually removing the dead cells, but I don't know how comfortable it would be. I know there are also microdermabrasion creams you can buy, but I haven't tried those yet.
I am also learning, as another poster said, to accept it and try not to focus on it too much. In a culture obsessed with beauty and physical appearance, it is not always easy, but there are far worse problems and I try to remember that. Good luck!
M.S. answers from Pittsburgh on April 15, 2010
I've had melasma since 2002 from birth control. I used the face bleach from the derm for a while, but had to quit when we married and started making babies, since its linked to birth defects.
I started using cocnut oil as sunscreen, using hats/umbrellas when visiting FL, and basically gave up on spending a fortune on all the stuff. I started using 2 shades of powder foundation (dark to fill in light areas, light for the dark areas).
I'm not pleased at all with the blotches, but try my best to not make them worse and just kind of accept it. Just like I used to dye my gray roots every 3wks, and now go 6wks, haha.
C.I. answers from Philadelphia on April 15, 2010
I have a wonderful skin care regimen that may help. If you would like a sample, please email me at ____@____.com.
J.P. answers from Pittsburgh on April 15, 2010
a couple things...
Make sure that you are going to a "cosmetic" dermatologist. I have found that regular derms don't really care so much to talk about whats more a vanity than a health thing. I found a WORLD of difference in the interest in my problems when I switched. I now have 2 derms...1 for mole checks and such and the other for appearance issues. (interestingly the "appearance" doc takes 3 months to schedule a mole check but will get you in next week for a cosmetic procedure! Thats the reason for 2)
You could also try a skin/plastic surgery type place that specializes in cosmetic enhancement procedures. I recently had a free consultation here at the Skin Center in PGH and it was really helpful. I got a Vitalize Peel there and it was amazing! Only $140 and it significantly faded my acne scars with no down time (after about 5 days your skin peels kind of like it was sunburned-not bad at all) Not sure how it would work on your melasma but you should def look into it.
As far as makeup I swear by Makeup Forever. Try their HD line (used a lot by TV people to look better in High Def.) The coverage is excellent. THey sell it at Sephora.
J.R. answers from Miami on April 14, 2010
My friend experienced this a few years ago, and this is what I remember. Lots of sunblock, and she did a sort of skin peeling/lightening. It eventually faded. She got it after her first pregnancy, so I understand it is common.
Check out www.cosmeticscop.com or www.beautypedia.com Paula Begoun is an amazing skin expert and can answer some of your questions. I am sure someone has asked about this, or you can email a question. She also rates beauty products.
also, it is probably most noticeable to you and not to others. I know what it is like to feel self conscious about something...so what I did when I was self-conscious about skin issues: Play up your beautiful eyes and lips to keep the focus there while you manage this short term challenge.
M.H. answers from Atlanta on April 14, 2010
Melasma is an overabundance of free radicals caused by hormonal changes, like in pregnancy. (If you're on birth control pills, you are keeping it alive.) Once those skin cells are there they stay unless you remove them. The key is to get the antioxidants to working. An absorbable multivitamin/mineral complex will get your body balanced. (I take one that is guaranteed to absorb.) Additional antioxidants at the cellular level will do the trick. They will actually generate new cells, getting rid of the dangerous ones.
I also use a wonderful like of skincare that is full of antioxidants to replenish my skin. My crow's feet are completely gone and the fine lines and wrinkles, that are also caused by free radicals, are gone as well.