Is there a procedure to rid myself of upper lip melasma?

I don't even know if I should call it melasma as its not that severe, it looks more or less like a 5 o clock shadow. I just don't know why it's on my upper lip and nowhere else on my body? I do have excess hair growth (hirsutism) but no dark patches anywhere else on my body. It's embarrassing plus I'm brown skinned. I want my upper lip to be the same color as the rest of my face/body! Please help

Doctor Answers 5

Melasma, peels, creams, and lasers.

Melasma can not be completely cured, however effective treatment are possible. This is because your skin is extremely sensitive to UV and even the smallest amount can stimulate your pigment cells to produce colour. The mainstay of treatment is strict UV protection- hats, sunglasses and SPF every 4 hours.

I prefer to use a combination of creams and laser for melasma. Hydroquinone can be used (5-8%), along with vitamin A creams. I usually start my patients on laser (low dose Q switch or Picosure) a few weeks after they commence on creams. I use the Clear and Brilliant 1927 as maintenance treatments. 

In some cases I combine glycolic AHA peels, and in other cases I use a tablet called Tranexamic acid to help.

More information on available treatments in the Web Reference below.  All the best, Dr Davin Lim. Laser, surgical and aesthetic dermatologist. Brisbane, Australia 

Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Melasma and Sun Spots -- Best Treamtent Is Clear + Brilliant / Fraxel 1927 / Aerolase w Microneedling PRP, Pro Yellow is Useful

Melasma is permanent and you will need long term treatment such as skin care, lasers, microneedling/PRP and peels to get improvement and then be put on a maintenance plan.  Please see an expert for evaluation.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Melarase creams for upper lip melasma

For upper lip melasma, we recommend Melarase AM, Melarase PM, and Replenish cream. 


Dr. Karamanoukian

Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews


Melasma is a side effect of fluctuating hormones, genetics, UV exposure, and trauma to the skin.  Melasma on the upper lip can be effectively treated with a combination of hydroquinone or Skin Medica's Lytera natural skin brightener at home.  In office procedures such as chemical peels like the Vitalize Peel by Skin Medica or the VI Peel are our favorites.  Strict use of mineral based sunscreen is essential.Fraxel laser or Sublative Fractional RF technology works great for long-term improvement of melasma.Hope this helps. Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Melasma upper Lip and Peels and Cosmelan and Bleaching Cream

Depending on the degree of melasma and location either chemical peels with TCA, or Cosmelan mask combined with sunscreen will reverse the melasma.  I have treated thousands of patients with melasma and it takes time but can be treated. Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.