I have brown patches on my face like the pregnancy mask I had so many years ago. How can I make it go away? Also I have bags under my eyes and wrinkles as well, should I get Botox or a chemical peel?
How Can I Remove my Pregnancy Mask?
Doctor Answers (13)
How Can I Remove my Pregnancy Mask? Lower Bags?
I agree with what has been said up until now. Creams will help your pigmentation, and the bags would probably need surgery, depending on how bad the bags are. In terms of your wrinkles, possibly a chemical peel or laser would do the trick. If you will have laser for the wrinkles, you might want to consider lasering your whole face and then the pigmentation could be treated that way as well. With a proper consultation, the physician could go through all your options.
Dark patches after pregnancy on face? Eye Bags?
The pigmentation correction can be attained by a comination of hydroquinone, Retin A, hydrocortisone, and sunscreen. Occasionall light peels to speed things along. This is 100% correctable but requires evangelical participation by the patient. Absolute sun protection is necessary. The hydroquinone permamnently reduces the melanocytes ability to produce pigment. The Retin A gets the hydroquinone into the deeper layers and helps peel away upper layer of deposited pigment. The hydroquinone calms red irritation. Sunscreen prevents additional melanocyte stimulation. Peels and lasers and dermabrasion are all useless for problem correction but temporarily get rid of upper layer deposited pigment and all looks better but the sword is double edged and the peels etc stimulate melanocytes and more pigment. The solution is to reduce the melanocytes function permanently. This has no negative implications. A solution may take 1 to 2 years but is fairly economical. You just have to be evangelical. The Obagi program is one approach but there are other less expensive ways to do this. A Retin A-hydroquinone-hydrocortisone- sunscreen program is needed and does work. Bags under eyelids require surgery. Nothing else works. Never let your fat be removed in the process. You will be hollow eyed. Botox is for crows feet and does near zero for lower eyelids. Sometimes Juvederm is useful in certain anatomical types of lower lids. Live forward and good luck. Dr Commons
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Melasma is a treatable but preventable condition
The most important thing to do in order to prevent Melasma is to use a high degree of Sunscreen. Most cases could have been avoided with proper instruction of the photoprotection needed when pregnant. If you develop melasma, either from pregnancy or birth control pills there are a few very good treatments. A combination of retinoids, hydroquinones, bleaching agents, and topical chemical peels are usually the best treatment. The Fraxel Dual, using the 1927 has been successful in treating some cases of melasma as well. Once I correct the melasma, I caution all of my patients that the pigmentation can recur with new sun exposure. Proper sun protection after treatment is of the utmost importance.
Removing the mask of pregnancy
Botox is not going to help with any discoloration that has resulted from pregnancy. This "mask" is called melasma and the best treatment would be a skin care regimine designed for this purpose.
Melasma fraxel and lower eyelid wrinkles
Before you attempt to treat lower eyelid wrinkles with chemical peels or fraxel laser, remember that your skin is prone to develop post inflammatory hyperpigmentation because of your melasma, or pigmentation, mask of pregnancy. Any resurfacing treatment provides the risk of developing post inflammatory hyperpigmenation and as you are susceptible to this, you should not have a treatment without a test spot done or the most conservative settings employed.
Melasma can be treated with hydroquinone-containing medications but they are sometimes irritating, Lumixyl is also used, light chemical peels may be done periodically to decrease the barrier to penetration of the lightening creams. Fraxel Dual, 1927 nm. laser can provide great improvement in some patients with hyperpigmentation.
Removing Pregnancy Mask
Step 1 would be using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays, high in SPF (greater than 50) and protecting the face as much as possible, wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
Step 2 would be to wear a concealer or foundation on top of the sunscreen -- this will not only hide the discoloration but the main ingredient in foundation is titanium dioxide, which will act as a second layer of protection as a sunblock.
Step 3 is to see a skilled dermatologist -- you may benefit from a series of light to medium peels, i.e., glycolic acid, sal acid (TCA) as well as a bleaching cream that contains hydroquinone. Sometimes a laser or light source is helpful as an adjunct.
Removal of Pregnancy Mask
Peels and/or bleaching creames are the best options to treat the increased pigmentation. The lower lid bags can be removed or the fat repositioned if you have grooves at the lower border of your eyelids. Botox will be helpful If the wrinkles are caused by animation, depending on their location. If the wrinkles are always present, skin resurfacing with a laser or chemical peel would be the treatment of choice.
I assume you mean hyperpigmentation that occurred with pregnancy. This is called melasma and can be treated in many different ways. I usually offer my patients skin care products which will gradually lighten the areas.