July 30, 2009,
J.M. asks from Arcata, CA on July 28, 2009
Help!! Embarrassing, Dark Skin on Upper Lip..
I am so depressed over this... I have, what looks like a mustache; it's not hair, but dark skin on my upper lip. I first noticed it when my son, who is my 1st child, was about a year old. I have heard of women getting this during pregnancy, but mine happened later. I am still nursing him, but plan to stop before his 2nd birthday- (He's 22months). Has anyone else experienced this? Will it go away? What can I do to fix it? I recently went through a divorce and have not dated in over a year. I'm to the point now when I'd like to meet someone nice, but I'm so embarrassed by this weird mustache thing! I look in the mirror and it's all I see! I know what's a big deal to me other people may not notice as much and a really nice man would like me for me, but I still want it to disappear! Any advice?
1 mom found this helpful
R.S. answers from Seattle on July 29, 2009
I hear you J.! I have the same problem that has resulted from waxing my upper lip and then being in the sun...it's called hyperpigmentation. The best treatment is hydroquinone, which is a skin bleaching agent. I believe some over the counter products may have it, but it's best to see a dermatologist who can accurately diagnose what you have and provide proper treatment. My advice for now is to be sure to use the strongest SPF you can on your face when out in the sun as sun can make it worse.
C.V. answers from Seattle on July 29, 2009
I actually had this happen also. Dermatologist gave me "skin bleaching" cream but then I had a test for low thyroid and that was the problem. After taking thyroid med for a couple of months it went away - along with fatigue, weight gain, cold feeling etc.
S.B. answers from Seattle on July 29, 2009
For an immediate fix, try waxing your upper lip. You may be surprised that the fine hair is enhancing the darker skin.
Then make an appointment with a dermatologist to bleach it. I had that happen to me in 1995 (not from a pregnancy). The bleaching took about 5 minutes and the dark skin has never come back.
Z.A. answers from Seattle on July 28, 2009
I joke that my having my son turned me into a man...
While I never had any need before I now get the "full face" (lip, cheek, jaw, sideburn, chin) waxing at Gene Juarez every other month.
If it's just dark downy fuzz (and not the skin itself that's darker) waxing will take care of it. And if you ever actually LOOK at the waxing menu, you'll realize that...yup...we quite literally get hair removed from every single part of our face (and bodies).
If it's the skin, a trip to the dermatologist can stand you in good stead. While it may very well self resolve when you stop nursing (ugh, stupid hormones), if it doesn't they can actually bleach the skin back to matching with the rest of your face.
Good Luck, What we suffer for our wee ones.
J.R. answers from Seattle on July 29, 2009
I played a ton of vb in the sun for years and developed the same thing... I used a skin lightening product from a dermatologists office (Obagi) which I would recommend staying away from! It worked at the time but has longterm effects... I stopped using it years ago, a few years before getting pregnant. Well, two babies later and I have lots of discoloration (on my forehand especially). The problem with Obagi is that you can never be exposed to the sun again without a huge risk of making it worse.
I would go to whole foods and see about their products - I tried a couple without success. I'm now using an MD SKincare product but again not really working. I think I have to schedule with a dermatologist but I will ask loads of questions before deciding on which product to use or what procedure to have.
K.M. answers from Seattle on July 29, 2009
I am a consultant with Arbonne International, a botanically-based Swiss Health and Wellness company. This spring, we launched Revelage, a skin-care line that specifically treats hyperpigmentation, without the use of bleaching agents. It actually targets the melanocytes that are responsible for hyperpigmenatation and age spots. You can go to my webpage at www.nursekerry.myarbonne.com for more information. I have been using the line and my age spots are going away. Yea!
S.G. answers from Seattle on July 29, 2009
Just wanted to reiterate what others have said about sunblock. I had something similar happen to my lip and middle of my forehead, and it's called melasma (or "pregnancy mask," to the old folks). For me, it wasn't during pregnancy, not sure what the cause was. I never used bleaching agents, just covered up with makeup when I wanted to be sure it wouldn't show.
It went away eventually with religious use of sun screen. Reapply and reapply to the affected area when you're out in the sun, especially since it's on your lip and sweat might deactivate the sunblock after a bit.
It'll go away, never fear. And be assured that nobody is noticing it as much as you do! I was obsessed with it, sure that's all anyone saw when they looked at me, but several friends (whom I trust) said they didn't notice it until I pointed it out. So don't point it out to men you're trying to date. :)
M.K. answers from Seattle on July 30, 2009
i had that three years ago! mine was only in the center, so it looked like a little Hitler mustache- i was really embarrassed! i wore coverup every day to tone it down- which only partially helped.
turned out mine was age spot/sun spot, and it wasnt assoc. w/ pregnancy in my case. i used some lightening cream which helped a little but mostly i had to wait for it to fade over the winter. the main thing is heavy sunblock, all the time. i'm pretty careful now and it hasnt come back the last two summers. :D
K.L. answers from Seattle on July 29, 2009
Yes, I did experienced that during my pregnancies and after having my babies. It DOES go away after a couple of YEARS! Howver, to help keep it from getting darker...put heavy sunscreen (SPF 50) on your upper lips or any dark spots on your face every day. Especially when you go out in the sun. I'd noticed that my skin gets dark splotches on them during my pregnancies and after having babies so I've been religious about SPF's (the higher...the better) helps keeping it from getting darker. My sister didn't believe me so her skin looks terrible during and after her first pregnancy. She listened to my during her second one and she didn't have the dark splotch problems that time around.
Hope that helps you.