Melasma battle

I developed melasma about three years ago when I...

I developed melasma about three years ago when I was 36. My skin has always been great,no problems really but after a wax ( upper lip) and a glycolic peel treatment and venturing out I to the sun I was left with a melasma moustache and a splodge of pigmentation running from my forehead down my cheek uggggh! I thought in time it would too it's own but NO the damn thing refused the budge. After about a year I decided to seek treatment, I saw a dermatologist who confirmed it was melasma and that it was in both my epidermal layer and my dermis. I was prescribed the rx obagi system and that's when things got really bad!!! My skin was sensitive , red, peeling and at the end if the treatment ( approx 3 months of diligent use ) there was no improvement - in fact it looked worse. Since then I tried all sorts of treatments - azelaic acid, mandelic acid , vit c serums, lots of pigment creams such as skinceuticals , caudalie , avene, la roche ( all the things recommended for melasma ) I spent a fortune but nothing worked and just made the patches look worse!! I then booked in for dual yellow laser with moderate success - I had 6 treatments , the skin went dark tan after treatment and faded off each time , however the only place to offer this was a clinic in London and each session was £300. Doing the maths the results didn't match the cost so I stopped treatment about a year ago and gave up. So what worked for me? I came off birth control - though I'm sure this didn't cause my melasma I was worried it could be contributing to it's continuance. I began taking a high strength vitamin c extract, and 500 mg of vit b3 daily ( lots of research on the internet about it's use for pigmentation etc) I laid off all the creams ,acids etc and started to wash with cetaphil and moisturise with cetaphil , I use a vit b3 serum twice daily - it's non irritating and gentle . I began to see a real improvement yay! The final piece fell into place for me when I went for a tattoo removal with the picosure machine - the aesthetician mentioned that the machine in multi functional and can be used for skin rejuvenation . I mentioned my melasma and she said that yes the picosure can be used on a low setting to treat the condition . I'm four treatments in and the results have been great, I'd say I've experienced a 60% reduction especially on the dreaded stache ????????????. Best thing is the treatments cost just £100 each. It's worth noting that I religiously apply factor 50+ sunscreen throughout the day . I can't obviously say which bit of my regime works the best but I really wanted to share that the simplest of things can work, you have to be patient , but go gently - a lot of the stronger treatments simply aggravate the melasma and make it worse in my experience . I hope this helps at least one person that reads this because I know only to well how soul destroying it can be and how this skin condition destroys confidence. Good luck to you all out there ????

It's back ????

Sad to say that my Melasma has returned, I've been busy researching all sorts of options and slowly coming to the conclusion that the conventional treatments just don't work for me . I think the pico faded my epidermal pigmentation but I think I have dermal which has resurfaced. Anything with glycolic acid even in low concentrations upsets and inflames my Melasma adding pih to the mix. Hydroquinine and retin a has the same effect , the obagi system whilst working for some made my condition much much worse , pigmanorm also irritated. So I'm now taking efforts to try and reduce my symptoms naturally. I've started using hydrogen peroxide , diluted with equal part water as my final rinse after washing with cetaphil gentle cleanser , I then apply organic cold pressed castor oil , leaving on for a few hours each evening before washing again with Cetaphil. Because of the oil I don't need to moisturise afterwards. I'm supplementing my diet with 1000 mg msn, 1000 mg vit c, 200 mg zinc, 1000 mg grapefruit seed extract, and niacimide 1000 mg per day. It swallow these before food with Yakult probiotic for gut health . I have changed my sunscreen to cotz factor 58 sensitive which is a physical not chemical sunscreen. Trying not to lose hope because I feel very low right now, what a bloody frustrating thing this is!

Tranexamic acid for Melasma ?

Have been reading some interesting stuff about the use of Tranexamic acid for Melasma , there's clinical trials I've found online with positive results plus forum feedback , it's used to reduce heavy menstrual flow but seems to lighten dermal Melasma when taken orally , anyone have any experience? You can buy these at BOOTS for around £7.50 so wondering whether to give it a go

More Melasma

Woke up this morning to find a new patch has moved in. Runs from over my right eyebrow across my eyelid. Lovely . I'm so beyond fed up of this :-(

New regime

Just wanted to add that I've dropped hydrogen peroxide and added a toner I make from organic chamomile tea and apple cider vinegar. I'm also using a napiers organic face wash and organic chamomile cream in place of cetaphil. Plus napiers age corrective organic cream 3/4 times per week. I've also added astaxanthin to my supplements. Too doo to tell if anything is working but my skin feels super calm. Will update in a week or two

Thoughts today

Been mulling over things today , the Melasma patches are still there dark and horrible and I've felt so sad about how I've let this skin condition rob me of my life. I've never been super confident but this has destroyed me. I find it hard to be in a relationship because I'm very controlling about how and when people see me, I find it hard at work some days to look at people because I feel they must be looking at my skin and even with friends and family or just out and about I feel people must be looking . I truly wish this would go away or that I could find a way to overcome my insecurity about it because I feel like giving up ,

A strange combination that works!

Been using a mixture that I read on another persons review. A paste made from mouthwash, nizoral and baking soda. Sounds crazy I know but my stash has gone - completely gone! In every light it's just not there. The rest of my patches seem a little lighter and I'm preserve ring with them. I don't know how or why this works but it's succeeded where every other method has failed . Im still taking the supplements so it could be coincidental but the stash was there on Sunday , three applications of the paste later and it's vanished!

Paste products

For those who have asked for pics , here they are

Here i am again with good news

So I'm back, as much as this melasma ruins my life I'm here to say that I've happily been doing nothing! No scrubs, no acids , no lasers . My skin care is cheap and basic . Just cetaphil wash and moisturiser. I've switched to heliocare mineral sunscreen which I use daily. My melasma is fading slowly all by itself, I just got sick of aggravating my skin and focusing on it every day , I still take my vitamins and avoid the sun like the plague but I just wanted to say that as dreadful as it feels somedays that you just have to try and accept that when conventional methods fail that you can move on and live your life. Acceptance is sometimes the only way .
Andrea catton

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