Goodbye Melasma...I Hope! - Woodland Hills, CA

So, like many of you, I too, have tried everything...

So, like many of you, I too, have tried everything to get rid of my melasma that seemed to come on over my last pregnancy. Over the years, I have tried TCA peels at the dermatologist, TriLuma, Hydroquinonne, IPL, you name it. My melasma actually became worse after one of the IPL sessions I did turning a few small botches on my cheeks into huge ones. I also have a melasma mustache as well as some dark pigmentation from breakouts. It's frustrating because nothing works. I was the girl that could always go out without any make up on and now I won't leave the house without it. I am going in a few days for the Cosmelan peel with an MD. I would never trust doing this with an at-home product and even though I am an avid Ebayer (many ppl are mentioning getting products for less money on Ebay), would never trust something like my face to anything other than a licensed professional. I am very nervous that I am going to peel like crazy, some reviewers seems to peel more than other and I am already dry to start with. I'll post photos of my journey...check back soon!

Pre-op photo

You can see my mustache slightly in this photo, but mostly, the overall discoloration, especially in the upper cheek area.

More pre-op pics

I'm in the waiting room. I moved my appointment up to today.
I'll be posting more after I leave my appointment.

T Minus 8 hours

I've got the mask on. It's not as thick as I thought it would be. It tingles a bit and is slightly warm and prickly. Not unbearable by any means. Fingers crossed...

Just washed mask off

I'm not sure how I lasted the full 8 hours. Maybe it was just anticipation, but it got a touch annoying. After I washed it off. My face felt even more on fire and tight. But soft to the touch. It's definitely red. We will see what tomorrow brings.

Day 1

So I'm super red this morning and my skin feels a size too small. It's not terribly uncomfortable though.
I've put the Cosmelan 2 on and it didn't burn like I've read some others say.
I have to go to work so I'm going to try to put some makeup on.

Day 2

I am definitely not quite as red and the sunburned feeling has gone away.
I started to peel a tiny bit in the chin and mustache area yesterday. I am posting pictures from that as well as how I look this morning.
My skin is still feeling a size too small and looks crepe-like, my assumption is the rest will start peeling today or tomorrow.
Another reviewer said she was showering twice a day because it helped with the peeling and I agree. It makes the skin come off easier, although, I am not scrubbing, rubbing etc. I am only patting dry and letting this run it's course.
I do not see any improvement in pigmentation so my hopes are that after this all peels off, the fresh, glowing, pigment free, or at least reduced, skin underneath will be there as other reviewers have seemed to achieve.

Day 2.5

I had every intention of waiting until tomorrow to post an update, but....
Good grief. Peeling? That's an understatement.

Day 3

Lots of peeling going on. Thankfully I don't have work today or I'd never be able to go in. I'm hoping the peeling is gone by Monday...
It's finally not feeling like a sunburn but is definitely a little itchy. Nothing too bad though.
I've been applying the at home cream 2-3 times a day still.

Day 4

Nothing terribly new to report. The heavy crusty flaking is almost all gone. The soft skin that was underneath now seems very dry and has almost a light flaking now.
My dark patches on my cheeks seem a tiny bit improved, but I am feeling a little deflated that they aren't lighter than I though they would be after the heavy peeling stopped.
My mustache/sunstache, however, does seem to be the most improved.
I realize that the at-home product is what will really help the most at this point- along with keeping out of the sun, sunblock, and a big floppy hat. Although, for me, it's always been a hormonal issue that brought my melasma out to begin with, not the sun.
I'll keep posting updates and more photos soon.

Before, during and after pictures

It's definitely improved. I'm hoping it will continue to lighten.

1 week post-procedure

Well I definitely see an improvement. The melasma is not totally gone on my cheeks, but a lot of the superficial spots from breakouts are gone, as is my sunstache.

Im still a little red/brown, I thought that would be gone by now. Not sure how long that takes to go back to my normal skin tone.

I also still a little flakey but nothing terrible or that my moisturizer can't handle.

It seems like everything keeps lightening, so I will post another picture in a week or two.

2 week post op

Not sure I think it was worth the peel.
It definitely lightened a little bit, however, I'm now relying on the cream twice a day to work.
It lightened the area of my sunstache uber my nose, but not near the corners of my mouth and now that seems even more pronounced.
It's a little frustrating.

Post op almost 2 months

So I have discovered something new...
As most of us know melasma is a hormone related issue.
I couldn't figure out why after the Cosmelan I would have days where my dark patches looked so good and other days looked so dark. So dark that I had a friend ask me what the black was on my face. Crushed my feelings! I mean, come on! I've been working so hard to get this under control...still using the take home products daily, sunblock and staying out of the sun.
Anyhow, I did some research. Turns out a hormone called MSH can trigger the spots and if you can get it under control, the spots my actually reverse. I don't know how much faith I have in this, but I'm getting my hormone levels tested tomorrow.
Fingers crossed! XX
Woodland Hills Physician

Eileen is great! She is an artist when it comes to injectables and great customer service. The receptionist should have more knowledge, however, when it comes to procedures. I had a lot of questions about Cosmelan and she wasn't able to answer any of them. With that said, Eileen called and emailed me promptly and did answer my questions.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
4 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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