Need assistants with my pesky melasma. Any suggestions? (photos)

I have had melasma on my upper lip for the last 2 plus years. Absolutly nothing seems to help reduce the appearance. I have medium dark skin, I use 30 spf sunscreen DAILY and full coverage foundation which doesn't really hide it. I have use IPL laser, chemical peels, and hydroquinone 4% with tretinoin cream with no results. What other options are there!? Please any suggestion or doctor referrals would be greatly appreciated I am tired of people thinking I have a mustache!!

Doctor Answers 3

Melasma needs combination treatments

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. Personally I do not like IPL as this can treat epidermal melasma, but it often worsens melsama for most patients. 

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

All the best,

Dr Davin Lim
Laser, surgical and aesthetic dermatologist
Brisbane, Australia


Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

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

I suggest seeing an expert, there is no "cure" for melasma but there are lasers, skin care, peels, microneedling/PRP that can help improve the skin.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 167 reviews

Melasma and Best Treatment NYC

I would recommend Cosmelan for your melasma.  I have had great results with this treatment and of course avoid sun after this treatment.  Best, Dr. Green

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