Hi - I developed melasma (brown small patches on my forward and under one eye) at 31 when I was on a very strong contraceptive (to deal with polycystic ovaries). It got a bit worse with pregnancy number 1 and 2, even though I've worn a high quality sunscreen of at least factor 30 (physical sunblock as well as chemical) every day. I've tried kligman cream (from a dermatologist), hydroquinone cream and various Clinique, dermalogica and Space NK stuff. Nothing has worked and I'm now 38 and fed up... I don't like anybody seeing me without foundation and heavy concealer on, which is just not 'me' as I'm extremely low maintenance (scruffy, probably) generally.
Does anybody have any experience of anything that has actually worked? The brown patches show through even heavy make-up. I'm not ageing too badly apart from the brown patches...
I've read the Sali Hughes article in the guardian about it and think I might be stuck with it - I have to stick to serious sunblock and a Nars concealer, apparently!!
Anyway, I'm not expecting any magic lotions (although that would be nice!!) but would love to hear from anybody who has tried something that works....
No, solutions I'm afraid, but I know how you feel, I have melasma which appeared in my first pregnancy and got much worse in my second. I'm really self conscious about it. Have tried various corrective creams, none have worked and now hate being in the sun as it becomes more and more pronounced despite using high factor sun screen. Look like I've spent years sunbathing despite living in gloomy scotland.
I have melasma too, triggered by pregnancy, thyroid and tropical sun. It disappeared completely when I lived in a cloudy and rainy sunless climate, then partially recurred last year when I was a bit lax with sun protection (trusted that layered SPF15 moisturizer and SPF foundation would be enough) and exposed to Mediterranean sun. Now I routinely use proper sunscreen every day (topping up if I go out) and it has started to fade again.
Iirc some types of dermatological lasers may work (no personal experience) but recurrence is the real problem. I think you should consult a dermatologist if you are interested in that, they will give you a realistic prognosis.
Oh and not sure if this makes you feel better but my melasma looks like a really bad prison tattoo
Azalaic acid from a dermatologist worked for me.
If you google obagi melas a you will find obagi nu derm products have got some good reviews in treating the dark melasma patches.
I have melasma too, post pregnancy. It's awful, isn't it. Watching with interest.
While we wait for wise tips, I haven't tried it yet but saw today that Eucerin have a new range that looks good and I'm going to give it a go. The day cream is spf 30 so might kill two birds with one stone and is £22 so not horrendous.
Thanks everybody... Sorry to hear so many of you have it too! I'll have a look everything that's been suggested and report back. I'll be applying suncream more frequently in the meantime... Gah. And I escaped pregnancy relatively unsavaged - there's always something, isn't there? I should count my blessings it's just cosmetic but I am totally fed up with covering my face up...
Lactic acid can help some people
sorry always forget how to link properly
Hi BeginnerSAHM. I developed a brown patch on each cheek in 2011. I tried Skinceuticals pigment corrector with kojic acid. No effect at all. Ditto microdermabrasion. It was not so bad with foundation or concealer but when I'm not at the office I too am extremely low maintenance (least well-dressed mum on the school run in trackies and sweats etc!).
Personal recommendation led me to a good dermatologist and she prescribed the Obagi Nu Derm system (with Retin A cream plus hydroquinone creams and SPF 50 sun cream). You can stay on the system for up to 18 weeks (although I think some people do it each year I wouldn't do anything unless advised by a dermatologist). I started in February and am on week 13.
The bad news:
1. It's f***ing pricey.
2. It's hardcore: time consuming (products have to be put on one after the other morning and night) and skin will get very red and peel, especially round the mouth.
3. You will probably have to stay out of the sun/use high factor SPF/wear a hat:for the foreseeable future. This might not be a minus for you but it is for me, even though I have olive skin. Looking at fake tan options for when I finish the course...
4. You can't wear much, if any make-up as it's pointless with the flakiness. No a big deal for me as I work at home a lot. When I have to see clients at work or have a party or event to go to I hold off the night before on the Retin A so I can wear a bit of make-up.
Some people report peeling/redness stops after first few weeks, but as my skin is quite sensitive I still peel and get red, although it comes in cycles. I have been politely told in M&S by a sales assistant that I need to clean my face and got asked by my DS' friend "what's on your face?"
The good news:
It took until about week 10, but I can see a difference. I'm not sure the brown marks will disappear altogether but they have definitely reduced - enough to give me the motivation to carry on until week 18. The overall condition of my skin has improved: smoother and more even toned.
I am not very comfortable with skin bleaching as skin lightening is not what I want and I'm conscious that some people use hydroquinone continually as a beauty treatment to lighten skin, but I see this as a temporary measure.
My dermo and I discussed laser treatment but she advised me that with sensitive skin I was risking the marks getting worse and darkening in a reaction to trauma.
Hope this helps.
I have one on my forehead courtesy of DS, I had 4 glycolic skin peels (grouping offer) and it definitely faded. But can see it coming back this year already so breaking out the factor 50
Sorry - just realised there have been more replies. Thank you so much... Especially Lovetodance. Sounds v v hardcore but hopeful. Problem is that I am going to struggle looking flaky and red for 18 weeks... And the cost! Hmmm. Thank you so much for telling me about options that have worked though.
I can have melasma too and understand how you feel. I spent a fortune on things like Clinique. I have tried azaelic acid prescribed by my gp and depigmenting lotion prescribed by a dermatologist to no avail.
I have a job where I deal with the public and I'm very conscious of it I have two large patches one on each side of my face.
You could ask your gp to refer you to a dermatologist mine did, it may work for you.
Sunflower6 if the patches really bother you and you can cope with the flakiness (manageable if you slather on moisturiser several times a day) is it worth seeing a recommended dermo? Happy to let you know mine...Hint: she did a Q&A session here on Mumsnet!
I am also using the Obagi regime and would say for me the flaking only was noticeable for about 4 days and then it calmed right down - I used a lot of hydrate - the mosituriser and would say my main concern was more some redness which again was correctable with some tinted moisturiser
I am about 10 weeks in to my treatment and I am seeing changes - as said it is expensive and takes time but so far I am very happy as the overall effect is both reducing pigmentation and also brightening up my skin so I think I do look better..
All very interesting... Thank you! I will investigate which dermatologist it was and obagi. Pretty sure I shouldn't start it until the autumn/winter though as I know one moment of sun exposure (ok, maybe wishful thinking given today's weather...) can wreck week's of work and even make it worth if your skin is sensitive and 'thin' from peels etc... Thanks all!
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